Debates- Thursday, 28th June, 2012

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Thursday, 28th June, 2012

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






375. Mrs Mazoka (Pemba) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when the construction of the Ndondi High School and staff houses in Pemba Parliamentary Constituency would be completed.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, before I give a specific answer, let me say that Ndondi High School is one of those schools which were constructed through a community mode of construction just like Matauka in Senanga and schools in other parts of the country. The school, currently, has a one by four classroom block, but still needs additional infrastructure which we will consider. However, the construction of houses was not considered as part of Phase One, but I think it will be considered, in future, when we start catering for additional infrastructure.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Mazoka: Mr Speaker, where will the teachers reside?

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, that is the million dollar question. The accommodation problem is not just confined to Ndondi High School. There are many high schools countrywide which are facing accommodation problems. These include schools which were constructed by both the community and contractor modes of construction. 

The ministry will endeavour, beginning with the 2013 Budget, to closely look at how it can meet this heavy deficit in terms of teacher accommodation. That commitment I can put on the Table.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, Ndondi is a very old school. Considering the fact that works at the school are carried out through a community mode of construction, which leads to a reduction in costs on the part of the Government, why has it not just given the community in the area funds to buy the necessary requisites, such as cement, so that they can start building houses for the teachers? Would that not work?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, under a community mode of construction, both the Government and the community must pump some resources into the project. Obviously, in rural Zambia, this is a big challenge for our people. 

In the ministry, now, we are of the view that the contractor mode is more preferable in rural areas because of the obvious limitations. We hope we can take that direction.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I am not sure whether the hon. Minister has answered the question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Pemba. She wanted to know, specifically, when the construction of the Ndondi High School and staff houses would be completed. Telling us that the works would be completed in future is not a very good answer. You are the custodian of national resources, thus, you need to give us specific answers.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I agree with some of the hon. Member’s observations. The question which has been asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Pemba is: When are you completing the construction of this Ndondi High School? The reply was very specific. In addition, the hon. Member of Parliament wanted to know whether teachers’ houses would be constructed. It was stated that, in future, staff houses must be considered alongside the construction of classroom blocks.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, one of the challenges with regard to the community mode of constructing schools, especially, in the rural areas is the fact that the people who involve themselves in that type of community work tend to feel unappreciated for their efforts. Is there any provision which can be used by the Government to provide resources towards this important assignment?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, that suggestion is worth considering.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I am very happy to hear that, sooner or later, the community mode of constructing schools will be dropped because I am against it. The quality of the work done is not good. I want to know when this mode of constructing schools is done away with. 

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I am glad that Hon. Mooya, who is an engineer, is in agreement with our idea that we do away with the community mode of constructing schools. However, let me take this opportunity to clarify certain issues. A community mode of constructing schools seems to be a little more acceptable when building primary schools. They are easy to build, even under a community mode. However, when you consider the intricacies of building a high school or secondary school, you will notice that certain challenges come up. Depending on the 2013 funding to the ministry, we will consider doing away with the community mode of constructing schools. 

I thank you, Sir.


376. Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi) asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health:

(a)    what the eligibility criteria used for identifying beneficiaries of the Food Security Pack Programme (FSPP) were; and

(b)    what the type and quantity of inputs each beneficiary received in Lupososhi Parliamentary Constituency in 2010 had been.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Mrs Kazunga): Mr Speaker, the FSPP targets vulnerable, but viable farming households in all the districts of Zambia. In order to qualify for the support under the programme, the following criteria have to be fulfilled in terms of primary and secondary qualifiers:

Primary Qualifiers

(a)    access to land and cultivating less than one hectare;
(b)    adequate labour; and
(c)    not in gainful employment.

Secondary Qualifiers

(a)    female-headed household (widows and single mothers);
(b)    households keeping orphans and vulnerable children;
(c)    child-headed households;
(d)    terminally ill-headed households;
(e)    disabled persons-headed households;
(f)    unemployed youth; and
(g)    the aged.

Mr Speaker, all primary qualifiers have to be met and, at least, one secondary qualifier has to be met in order to qualify for inclusion into the programme.

Sir, beneficiaries under Lupososhi received the following inputs: Under rain-fed cropping, each beneficiary received 10kg maize seed for two lima, 10kg beans, soya beans or groundnuts or 2.5kg cowpea seed. They also received 50 kg D Compound, 50 kg Urea, cassava cuttings and sweet potatoes.

Mr Speaker, under wetland cropping, each beneficiary received the following: 5kg maize seed which is for one lima, 10 kg beans or 2.5 kg cow pea for half a lima, 25 kg D Compound and 25 kg Urea.

Sir, where ecological conditions were appropriate, some beneficiaries received the following: 15 kg rice for two lima, 2 kg sorghum plus 5 kg maize for two lima or they received 1 kg millet plus 5kg maize for two lima.

Mr Speaker, beneficiaries of rice received 50 kg of D Compound while beneficiaries of sorghum received 50 kg of Urea. 

Sir, under alternative livelihoods initiatives, each beneficiary received one goat, two chickens or 1kg fingerlings and one fishing net, depending on their suitability. In Lupososhi Parliamentary Constituency, 184 farming households were supported in 2010 as follows:

Location    Farming Type    Beneficiaries

Mapalanga    Wetland/Winter    26 (21 males and 5 females)
Tunati    Wetland/Winter    24 (22 males and 2 females)
Mufili    Wetland/Winter    48 (32males and 16 females)
Katuta       Alternative Livelihood Interventions    15 (2 males and 13 females)
Mumba                Rain-fed    61 (20 males and 41 females)
Lundu       Alternative Livelihood Interventions     10 (5 males and 5 females)

Total                                           184 (102 males and 82 females)

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, thank you, hon. Deputy Minister, for the well-delivered answer. For how long can a beneficiary receive support from the FSPP before being weaned off?

The Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Dr Katema): Mr Speaker, the beneficiaries receive this assistance for two years, but if all the elements of vulnerability have not been removed in a household, then it is considered for continued assistance.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, I will restrict my question to part (a). The answer which has been given indicates that unemployed youths are supposed to be beneficiaries of the FSPP. May I know the average number of beneficiaries per district if the ministry has these figures.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, it is not clear whether the hon. Member wants to know the number of youths on the FSSP per district. If that is the case, then, the hon. Member should be kind enough to submit that question so that an analysis can be provided because, ideally, the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health seeks to empower all sorts of people at household level.

Sir, under secondary qualifiers, youth-headed households are also targeted for support. We can give a proper breakdown if the hon. Member of Parliament can be kind enough to submit that question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, may I know whether this good programme will continue in the 2012/2013 season.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, this is a Government programme, which is budgeted for every year. Thus, it will continue even in the next season. Under the 2012/2013 Farming Season, there is money apportioned for this programme.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, sometimes, you find beneficiaries selling the same inputs which they are given. May I know if the Government has time to educate them on the importance of utilising those inputs as opposed to selling them.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, that has to do with the mindset of the people and the onus is on all of us, as leaders, to actually sensitise our people so that they can use the things given to them for the intended purpose because they are meant to assist them. Nonetheless, a mechanism has been put in place whereby the people who choose beneficiaries are actually committees that are constituted by the local people in the very localities where the beneficiaries are coming from. These are the ones who assess the beneficiaries and know who can sell or not, who is a hard worker and so on and so forth. They are also able to verify whether the information which beneficiaries submit is correct or not and they present recommendations to our officers who actually just facilitate. So, the onus is also on the community itself. The members of the community welfare assistance committees at the grassroots also educate our beneficiaries or would-be beneficiaries.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, this is a very fantastic programme. I am wondering when all the vulnerable, but viable farmers throughout the country will be reached since the hon. Minister said that the ministry weans off beneficiaries after two years. 

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, the Food Security Pack Programme is actually a mop-up programme, which is meant to assist the very vulnerable – poorest of the poor whom, if at all no intervention is made, then, the households are going to starve. There is another programme under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, which mostly deals with the emerging farmers. So, that is the position of our Government.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


377. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when the Government would repair the bridge on the Kabompo River, which connects Solwezi West and Mwinilunga Parliamentary Constituencies.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), set aside a total of K1.8 billion in the 2011 and 2012 Annual Work Plans (K1.05 billion was set aside in the 2011 Annual Work Plan and a supplementary K750 million in the 2012 Annual Plan) for the construction and maintenance repairs of the Kabompo River Bridge on the Ntambu/Makangu Road (D274), which connects Solwezi West and Mwinilunga Parliamentary constituencies.

Mr Speaker, the contract for these works was signed on 15th March, 2012, at a contract sum of K1,050,569,080. The contractor for the same works is Integrity Enterprise and the duration of the contract is six months. The scope of works for this contract includes, but not limited to the following:

(a)    drainage improvement;
(b)    earthworks;
(c)    ancillary road works; and
(d)    replacement of the existing timber deck with a reinforced concrete deck.

Mr Speaker, in the meantime, in order to ensure passage of people and goods from one side of the river to the other, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has provided water transport, which is being used by the contractor as works progress.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how the flow of traffic will be continuous on this crossing point using a motor boat or canoe because this is a busy road, which carries people to and from Solwezi to Mwinilunga.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, until the maintenance and repair of the bridge is completed, definitely, we cannot assure movement of motorised traffic. That is why we are saying that, in the meantime, we are only providing water transport for people and goods.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Sir, I note that the timber deck will be replaced by a concrete one, which is, maybe, ten or twenty times heavier. Now, are the foundations that are there meant for such a change? Is the substructure safe enough to carry that weight?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, before undertaking these maintenance repair works, thorough assessment of the required works was undertaken by engineers from the RDA and, hence, the scope of the works as I outlined in my answer earlier.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, that is a very dear road because that area is where Kalumbila Mine is. There is a lot of traffic. A lot of equipment is passing through …

Mr Speaker: What is the question?

Mr Mwanza: I coming to that, Mr Speaker. I am sorry.


Mr Mwanza: Now, this particular road requires a temporal bridge. For how many months are we going to wait for a permanent bridge while using a water boat?

Mr Speaker: Did you ask a question?

Mr Mwanza: I can repeat, Mr Speaker. This road is very busy. The temporary bridge that the Government is trying to put up is very small and cannot adequately cover the traffic range. Now, is the Government planning to build a more permanent bridge, like the one between Mufulira and Chingola, which was constructed by the Defence Forces?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, I am not aware that the bridge that we are constructing is not adequate for the requirements of traffic on this road.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, perhaps, I can just recast the question that the hon. Member for Solwezi West was trying to put across. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the Government did not consider putting up a bailey bridge on the river while constructing the permanent bridge to ensure that traffic continues to flow, given the economic importance of this crossing because of the mine at Kalumbila.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, as indicated, we have provided allowance for the movement of goods and people from one side of the river to the other in the meantime. In three months’ time, this bridge will be fully operational.

I thank you, Sir.


378. Mr M. B. Mwale (Malambo) asked the Vice-President:

(a)    whether any jobs were lost in the Public Service as a result of restructuring Government ministries between September, 2011 and February, 2012;

(b)    if so, how many jobs were lost; and

(c)    how much money has been saved as a result of the restructuring at (a) above.

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that there were no jobs that were lost in the Public Service as a result of the restructuring or merging of Government ministries between September, 2011, and February, 2012.

Mr Speaker, following the response above, there were no jobs that were lost as a result of restructuring of Government ministries.

Lastly, Mr Speaker, there were, therefore, no savings that have been realised as a result of the restructuring of Government ministries between September, 2011, and February, 2012, the reason, of course, being that the redeployment of excess staff arising from the merging of Government ministries is still in process. The Government will only confirm savings after the redeployment exercise is completed and some positions are abolished.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, what was the objective of the amalgamation of the ministries if there were no savings at all accruing out of this exercise?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the original question refers to the Public Service. The purpose of amalgamating ministries, apart from improving co-ordination, was to get a leaner Cabinet or Executive in addition to the Public Service.

I thank you, Sir.

 Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if the merging of the ministries has improved their efficiency in performance. 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am not aware of any evaluation exercise that has, so far, been undertaken. So, my answer could only be subjective.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President said that one of the reasons for undertaking this exercise was to have a leaner Cabinet. I do not know whether he is happy with the staffing levels of the entire Civil Service. Before this exercise was undertaken …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

What is your question?

Mr Mbulakulima:  … was a due diligence exercise undertaken?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, our manifesto talks about a smaller Cabinet and a smaller number of ministries. This is what we are trying to do. I made allusions, here, to the on-going restructuring, that we will abolish some positions, but that has not happened yet.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Was due diligence done?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, since we went into the business of actually taking over a company where we wish to know all the assets and liabilities, I am not sure whether the question from the hon. Member has any precise meaning.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


379. Mr Mutale (Kwacha) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when sewer lines would be constructed in Riverside and Kwacha residential areas of Kwacha Parliamentary Constituency, where residents have relied on pit latrines.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Masumba): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the construction works for laying of a sewer line in Riverside Phase II, comprising of 661 plots, has already commenced. To date, about 2.1 km of sewer network has been laid, signifying 16 per cent completion. The laying of sewers in Riverside Phase II is planned to be completed by May, 2013.

As for Kwacha Constituency, 1,436 properties are yet to be sewered and the Nkana Water and Sewerage Company is looking for resources to undertake this project at a cost of K16 billion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, thank you for the answer from the hon. Deputy Minister. The residents of Kwacha have lived in this condition for forty-seven years now or more. Could the hon. Minister attach a timeframe within which the residents of Kwacha can expect the sewer lines to be serviced in Kwacha Constituency, especially in Kwacha Township, as an assurance that it will be done.

Mr Masumba: Mr Speaker, I indicated, earlier, that the ministry is still looking for resources and, at an appropriate time, when they are available, the works will be done.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, the sewer system in Kitwe is of great concern. Therefore, I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister the measures the ministry is putting in place to avoid puncturing sewer lines which are used to cultivate gardens.

The Minister of Youth and Sport (Mr Kambwili) (on behalf of the Minister of Local Government and Housing (Professor Luo): Mr Speaker, hon. Members of Parliament are councillors and the issue of sewer lines is a responsibility of the local councils. So, we expect them to come to the House and tell us what they are doing, as councillors, rather than bringing this issue before the Central Government.

I thank you, Sir.


381. Mr Chishimba asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the Government would construct staff houses at the following institutions:

(a)    Kamfinsa Police Mobile Training School; and

(b)    Kamfinsa Prison.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Ministry of Home Affairs has plans to construct staff houses at the Kamfinsa Mobile Training School under the infrastructure development plan for security wings under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Negotiations to secure funds for the project have reached an advanced stage and construction will commence as soon as the funds are made available to us. 

Mr Speaker, the infrastructure development plan applies to the construction of staff houses at prisons throughout the country, including Kamfinsa Prison. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, the situation on the ground is terrible. At the moment, the Kamfinsa Mobile Training School has 529 housing units against over 900 officers with families which have to share this accommodation. At Kamfinsa Prison, there are over 300 officers with families, which are made to share 146 housing units with teachers.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has just said that the Government is sourcing funds. When, specifically, will the situation be addressed? In fact, currently, civilian employees at the Kamfinsa Mobile Training School have been served with notices to vacate Government quarters by 14th July.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, when this House went on recess, in March, 2012, I had an opportunity to tour Muchinga and Central provinces. I went to all the districts in Muchinga, except Chama, which I intend to tour when the House goes on recess on 20th July, 2012 This month, I also intend to tour Itezhi-tezhi and Mumbwa in Central Province. 

Mr Speaker, what I saw gave me a great sense of shock. Civil servants are living and operating under very deplorable conditions. They must be commended for their sense of patriotism, coming from those deplorable conditions and putting in hard work, day in and day out, and going back to those terrible conditions at the end of the day.

As the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, we are amazed that the previous regimes let these conditions reach this state of squalor. 


Dr Simbyakula: Civil servants were neglected. We intend to do something about this. That is why we are undertaking these tours. We want to see these conditions for ourselves. We have found out that the budgetary allocation is inadequate to construct additional housing. That is why we have been saying, in the House, from time to time, that we are sourcing funds outside the Budget in order to address this problem urgently. 

Mr Speaker, as I have said, negotiations have reached an advanced stage. The hon. Minister of Home Affairs will announce to this House when these funds are made available, and we hope it will be in the next couple of weeks or months, and construction will commence.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, as regards the civilian employees who have been served with eviction notices, I would like to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa for bringing this to our attention. We will engage the Police Command to see how we can address this issue.

I thank you, Sir.


382. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    how many students were enrolled at the following institutions as of December, 2011:

(i)    the University of Zambia ( UNZA);

(ii)    the Copperbelt University (CBU);

(iii)    Mulungushi University; and

(b)    what the library capacity in relation to student population at each institution was.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Professor Wilombe): Mr Speaker, as regards UNZA, there were 17, 907 students enrolled, as at December, 2011. As for the CBU, there were 8, 410 students enrolled, as at December, 2011. The number of students enrolled at Mulungushi University was 2, 245, as at 31st December, 2011.

Mr Speaker, with regard to library capacity, UNZA has 1,600, the CBU has 350 while Mulungushi University has 182.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, the three universities mentioned have a limited number of computers as per the report we received some time back. Now that the computer has taken the role of the book for research purposes, how does the ministry intend to increase the number of computers in the higher institutions of learning?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I hope the hon. Member got the figures right because they suggest that these institutions, particularly UNZA and the CBU, are completely overstretched in terms of infrastructure. 

Mr Speaker, the computers that Hon. Chisala is talking about are just a tiny picture of the great needs that should be looked into at the various universities. However, the hon. Member’s question also indicates that the public universities have been neglected for a long time. However, that is the past.

Mr Speaker, as regards his question, I am glad to report that the universities understand the inadequacies of space and non-availability of books in the three libraries. As such, the universities have embarked on internal mechanisms of obtaining computers for the students from their little resources and also in co-operation with various partners.

Sir, as a ministry, we have also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft. I am happy to say that Microsoft has agreed to reduce the price of computers for the sake of the ministry. Therefore, working through the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), we are targeting 2,000 institutions in the country to receive computers and software at highly reduced prices. We hope that moving this way, we could popularise the use of computers, which is such an essential ingredient in a student’s academic life.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

   Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the Government has any intentions of introducing a programme which will give a computer to every student in higher learning institutions for learning purposes like other countries, such as Rwanda, in particular, have done.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Gwembe for that question. I am glad he did not point his finger at me.


Mr Speaker: Order!

He is unusually calm today.


Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I think he knows who he was addressing this time around.


Dr Phiri: The other day, I was saying that we have been dumb-striken by the experiences we have learnt from Rwanda. Such examples have made us begin to seriously address the introduction of computers from primary to the tertiary level. The 2,000 schools I talked about are a small step towards realising that goal. Every Zambian child should benefit from this innovative way of teaching and learning. We, the PF, hope to make inroads so that all the children of Zambia, both rural and urban, can benefit from this scientific discovery. I am delighted that you are thinking along the same line. Where possible, please partner with us and, if you find other co-operating partners who are willing to work with us, our door is open because 2,000 schools is just a drop in the ocean. However, it is a good beginning.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, when we visit UNZA, those of us who were there many years ago, cannot avoid shedding tears. The lecture theatres and everything are in a deplorable state. Does the Government have any plans of upgrading the facilities by refurbishing, renovating and expanding them, considering that the student population has quadrupled?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I hope the hon. Member will contain her tears until we have done something tangible. 

I know that this problem of infrastructure was at the back of hon. Chisala’s question. For example, UNZA had only 2,000 students the time you were there, hon. Member. Today, there are more than 12,532 students. When you add the distance learning students; the total comes to 17,907. I lamented, today, that we have not paid attention to tertiary education for a long time. 

Mr Speaker, there is definitely a plan now. Although it is not ideal for me to mention, we would like to work through the public-private partnership programme as quickly as possible which, I know, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is passionately committed to. He has been pushing me over this and I am grateful that we could make a difference in the shortest time possible. We could begin with the hostels and, with time, move to other areas of need. There is a little light at the end of the tunnel for UNZA because God has used the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport, Hon. Kambwili, to come to our rescue. He is considering renovating the UNZA facilities so that they can be used for regional sports tournaments. 

Mr Speaker, we are also trying to increase the rate of rehabilitation at UNZA and the CBU, and weaning Mulungushi University, which is a tuition-paying facility, off as quickly as possible so that we concentrate our efforts on the real public universities. I understand how the hon. Members feel. However, this is an area that has been left unattended to for a long time. Therefore, the task at hand is enormous. There are eight students sharing that space you used to sleep in, hon. Member. This cannot be allowed to continue.

I thank you, Sir.


383. Mr Muntanga asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    when a dam, at the confluence of Kalomo and Mweemba rivers,
would be constructed; and 

(b)    how many dams and boreholes were earmarked for construction and sinking,
respectively, in Kalomo Parliamentary Constituency in 2012.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to construct a dam at the confluence of Kalomo and Mweemba rivers. However, a dam at the confluence of Kalomo and Mweemba rivers will be considered for construction after detailed surveys, social and environmental studies have been conducted in 2012. If the outcome of this process is positive, the dam can then be scheduled for construction in 2014.

Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to construct one dam and fifteen boreholes in Kalomo Central Parliamentary Constituency in 2012. The dam will be constructed at Nkolongozya. Further, the Government has planned for the construction and rehabilitation of forty-four water points for Kalomo Parliamentary Constituency this year under the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. In addition to the fifteen boreholes, the following works will be done:

(a)    rehabilitation of ten boreholes;

(b)    digging of four shallow wells; and 

(c)    rehabilitation of fifteen shallow wells.

All these facilities will be equipped with hand pumps and will be protected.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that this particular site was the one which was originally chosen for the construction of the Kariba Dam, way back in 1953? There are records at the Department of Agriculture testifying to this fact. The site does not need the investigations that you are conducting. It needs construction. Why are you not constructing that dam?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, we will consult the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock on how far it went. Then, we will get back to the House with an answer.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, is fifteen the number of boreholes that each constituency will get?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, what we are looking at are demand-driven community projects. So, for other constituencies, it will depend on the demand.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, does the ministry have a plan for the sinking of dams in Kalomo and across the country because we badly need them?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, yes, the plans are there. However, we are dealing with Kalomo, now. So, you could give me a bit of time to consult the technocrats. However, for Kalomo, we are going to do one dam this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, this question has acted as an ignition key to the hon. Minister.


Mr Ntundu: It has ignited him to answer questions about water points. Does what he has talked about include water points that are not necessarily boreholes with hand-pumps and dams where animals can drink water?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, animals drink water from dams and, this year, we are going to construct one dam in Kalomo.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, when, exactly, will equipment move to the site for the construction of this dam?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, we are going to construct the dam as soon as possible. What is important is that it will be done this year. This year, we are going to construct one dam and fifteen boreholes in Kalomo through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the dam he is talking about is only in one ward? If so, what about the other wards, since there are many animals around that area?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I know that we are going to build a dam in one ward only. However, there are many other wards. All constituencies have got their own needs but, for Kalomo Central, we are going to construct a dam in that one ward.

I thank you, sir. {mospagebreak}


384. Dr Kazonga (Vubwi) asked the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection:

(a)    how many transactions in relation to the following activities were undertaken in 2010 and 2011, year by year:

(i)    assignment of property;

(ii)    issuance of certificates of title;

(iii)    processing of expired leases; and 

(iv)    notices of re-entry; and

(b)    what measures had been taken to ensure that certificates of title were expeditiously processed.

The Deputy Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Muchima): Mr Speaker, the number of transactions in relation to the following activities that were undertaken in 2010 and 2011, year by year, are as follows:

    Type of Transaction    2010    2011

Assignment of Property    7,975    3,861

Issuance of Certificates of Title    11,034    8,481

Processing of Expired Leases    121        248

Notices of Re-entry    95    117

Mr Speaker, the measures that my ministry has taken to ensure that certificates of title are expeditiously processed are as follows:

(a)    adhering to the Customer Services Charter of 2008. According to this charter, the number of days the ministry takes to issue certificates of title depends on whether the transaction is secondary or primary.

The issuance of secondary title, that is, change of ownership, when the property is already on title, should only take fourteen days, provided that the applicant has followed all the required procedures and is in possession of all the necessary documents.

The issuance of primary title, that is, issuance of title at first offer from the State, on the other hand, takes seventeen days, subject to the applicant adhering to all laid-down procedures;

(b)    decentralisation of the operations of the ministry to all provincial centres so that the people of Zambia can be attended to at provinces;

(c)    two more registrars were recruited at the Department of Lands and Deeds, bringing the number of registrars in the ministry to six out of the total establishment of twelve, to expedite the processing of certificates of title. These six registrars have to handle cases for the whole nation; and 

(d)    the ministry has been sensitising the public, using brochures, on procedures. This is meant to inform people on what role they should to play so as to help expedite the processing of titles.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, some of the conditions or requirements for a title to be issued are possession of letter of offer and payment of the fees contained in the offer letter. Of late, particularly this year, however, we have heard excuses of computers not working or that this can only be done early in the morning, around 0600 hours. What is the ministry doing to address this information technology problem so that the people can be served? As the numbers indicated, there are a lot of transactions for title deeds which take place.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, it is true, and the ministry has, admittedly, not been doing well in that area. We are now reviewing the situation. Currently, there are heaps of title deeds. The registry is unmanageable. There was a computerised system which was launched during the reign of the late President Levy Mwanawasa, SC., but it was not completed due to some deficiencies and lack of certain components. Now, we are on course and have advertised for a new computer system. Very soon, it will be installed. We are more concerned than even you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: If you cannot fight them, join them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Is the hon. Minister through with the response?

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, we are looking into that issue adequately.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, does the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection have any plans to decentralise the issuance of title deeds to the provinces and districts?

Mr Kambwili: Nabalanda, iwe!

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the shortest answer is, “yes”. We started with Ndola, but we are still meeting some difficulties. I know that, eventually, we will need this to go into other provinces. If the need arises, this will go to the districts as well.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, there are so many people who have met all the conditions, but it has taken them over five years to obtain title deeds. What is the problem? I am asking this question because I am one of those who have met all the requirements, but it is now three years and my title is not yet out.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, it is the inertia in human beings and the attitude of our workers towards work. However, you should now look at us on this side differently. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Sir, the hon. Member for Malambo has seen how efficient the ministry is. He was in my office recently and most of the people have been there. We are addressing these issues. We know how much people have been suffering. In normal circumstances, it is supposed to take fourteen days. Therefore, we want every person to wake up because people have been sleeping for too long.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the answers given by the hon. Deputy Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. However, does his ministry consider people who come from rural areas? When people come to Lusaka, they are not attended to on the same day due to the postponement of dates. Has the ministry got any plans to increase the number of staff to facilitate the quick issuance of these certificates and titles, especially to people whom come from rural areas?

Mr Speaker: He is speaking on behalf of everybody now.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to address the issue of the charter and the guidelines that are lacking even in our councils. This afternoon, we have brought these documents to the Clerk of the National Assembly to be distributed so that everyone knows that we are there and we shall be there in the villages. We have got one officer in each provincial office  omputerize  in lands, survey and other  omputerize ons. As you are aware, the Lands Act of 1995 stipulates that the land is in the hands of the President and is managed by the Commissioner of Lands. Councils are agents, but we have discovered that they are not guided. As such, there have been many mistakes and problems. 

Mr Speaker, we need to address the problem by looking at the resource personnel at the provincial and, then, district levels. We have seen many people coming, even at headquarters in Lusaka. We want to come up with a committee that would be attending to people as they come. We sympathise because the problem affects my mother, my cousin and everybody else. Therefore, we want efficient systems that can address such issues. In short, we shall also go to the districts.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister mentioned that he is doing very well with his hon. Minister. They have also accepted that there is a problem with the staff because they lose files everyday. Now, they are saying that they are installing another computer system. However, even that system will collapse. I, therefore, want to know what they are going to do to sort out this problem. Are they going to be pushing the workers to do the work? Those workers cut and lose files. What is it that they have done?

The Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Simuusa): Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central and the nation at large that, as a new Government, and as they say, ‘‘new brooms sweep cleaner’’, we will do everything possible to address these issues. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Sir, we have discovered that the big problem at the ministry is the question of order. We need to put things in order.  The issue about files going missing and papers missing from the files, all that is going to come to an end. We are going to completely computerize the system. All the documents will be in a computer and it will not be possible to lose them. It will also be possible to trace anyone who accesses the computer. In short, when we completely computerize the system, even the papers and other things will be properly processed. The assurance is that it will be done sooner than later.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Lands for the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 21st June, 2012.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Yes, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, in line with its terms of reference set out in the Standing Orders, your Committee considered crop marketing in Zambia, with a focus on maize. Your Committee also revealed the Auditor-General’s report on the management of maize grain by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), and the Action-Taken Report on your previous Committee’s report. In order to get deeper insight into crop marketing in Zambia, your Committee invited written memoranda and oral submissions from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the FRA, the Agriculture Consultative Forum (ACF), the Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ), the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ), the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) and the Zambia Agriculture Commodity Exchange (ZACE). 

Mr Speaker, in order to appreciate the activities on the ground, your Committee later undertook field- based oversight activities to Nyimba, Petauke, Sinda, Katete and Chipata. They Committee also undertook a benchmarking visit to Lilongwe in Malawi.

Mr Speaker, your Committee’s findings are clearly highlighted in its report. It is my sincere hope that hon. Members of Parliament have taken time to read the report. I will, therefore, only highlight some of the salient issues arising from the study. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee bemoans the lack of a comprehensive policy and legal framework to guide the proper functioning of agricultural marketing in Zambia. In light of this, your Committee recommends that the Government, as a matter of urgency, brings the agricultural marketing legislation for enactment in Parliament. This law should provide for the establishment of the agricultural marketing council as a statutory body to advise the Government on market-related issues as well as to monitor and analyse the performance of the agricultural market. It will also investigate and advise on all statutory interventions in the market.

Sir, your Committee is concerned that, while grain storage facilities are limited, in Zambia, the Government had leased some storage facilities to some companies at the expense of Government maize, which was being wasted in the open space. This came to light when your Committee toured the Petauke Depot.

Mr Speaker, it was sad to notice that thousands of maize bags were under the sun while sacks of omnia and another company’s products were in the sheds which are supposed to be for maize. Your Committee appreciates efforts by the Government to build slabs. However, it is of the view that the building of slabs may not be the right way to go. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government should embark on a robust construction of sheds and upgrade the slabs into sheds. It also recommends that existing silos countywide should be renovated.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is concerned about the high cost of doing business in Zambia. The cost of doing business in the agricultural sector has been attributed, in part, to the poor infrastructure, particularly roads, and to the prohibitive lending rates being offered by the commercial banks. In order to reduce the cost of doing business, your Committee recommends that the Government prioritises the upgrading of trunk and feeder roads, especially, in areas of high agricultural production potential. In addition, the railway system needs to be made more efficient and secure, and even extended to the most productive areas. The Committee further recommends that the Government should encourage the banking sector to reduce the lending rates.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that, in addition to keeping the strategic reserves, the FRA is involved in buying and selling of maize grains from all the commercial and small-scale farmers. Your Committee is concerned that the involvement of the FRA in the buying and selling of grains has been crowding out the private sector. In this regard, your Committee strongly urges the Government to explore possibilities of establishing an independent organisation to buy crops from small-scale farmers as is the case in Malawi. This will minimise the exploitation of peasant farmers by the unscrupulous businessmen and women. Further, the FRA’s operations should be streamlined by maintaining its original responsibility of keeping strategic reserves. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that the FRA maize floor price announced by the Government does not take into account the cost of production by small-scale farmers. This makes the price of a 50 kg bag of maize in Zambia more lucrative compared to what is obtaining in the region and, therefore, encouraging commercial farmers, both from Zambia and neighbouring countries, to sell maize to the FRA. This is putting a lot of pressure on the Government Treasury. The country’s coffers may be overstretched during bumper harvests.

Mr Speaker, in order to prevent confusion in this regard, your Committee recommends that the buying and selling prices should be announced by the FRA. This is in accordance with the FRA Act, which provides for the protection of the private sector, including farmers. It further recommends that the FRA purchase price should be set with reference to production costs incurred by the small-scale farmers. Your Committee observes that there is a shortage of grain warehouses in the country. A proper system of warehouse receipting and the registration of warehouses will ensure safe storage for agricultural commodities and will inject operational capital into the marketing chain to the advantage of both commercial and small-scale farmers. 

 Mr Speaker, in this respect, your Committee recommends that the Government should appoint a regulator to implement the warehouse receipt system in the country and that some activities of the FRA would be undertaken through the warehouse receipt system.

   Mr Speaker, in conclusion, your Committee wishes to express its gratitude to you, for the guidance rendered during the session. Your Committee is also grateful to the witnesses who appeared before it for their co-operation and input into the deliberations. Lastly, I also extend your Committee’s appreciation to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to it during the session.

    Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

    Mr Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

    Mr Ng’onga: Now, Mr Speaker.

    Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion, which has been ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee, I wish to highlight some issues which have not been covered in the Chairperson’s speech.

   Sir, your Committee observes that there is inadequate and untimely market information on the prices of agricultural products and on the supply and demand of these products. It notes, with concern, that important surveys such as crop forecasts and post-harvest surveys, are, sometimes, delayed or not funded at all. Your Committee is aware that without timely and readily available market information, it is impossible for key market participants to make informed decisions.

  Mr Speaker, in this respect, your Committee recommends that both the crop forecast and post-harvest surveys should be timely and adequately funded to ensure that the results of the surveys are ready in time. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock should harmonise the various market information systems and also conduct market research.

  Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that there is limited awareness of the role of agricultural commodity exchanges that could support trade forward contracts. Your Committee is of the view that forward contracts are important in reducing market risks.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is also of the view that the commodity exchange initiative has the potential to benefit both sellers and buyers, thereby promoting the required level of participation in the market. The need for the development of an active agricultural commodity exchange initiative is an important step in the development of agricultural markets, requiring the full participation of sellers, buyers and the financial sector. In this respect, your Committee recommends that the Government embarks on sensitisation programmes on the importance of operations of the commodity exchange initiative  with a view of establishing one. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee appreciates the audit work undertaken by the Auditor-General in relation to the management of maize by the FRA. It is, however, concerned about the failure by the FRA to meet the expectations of the study in relation to the condition of the maize storage facilities, procedures in place for inspection and staff trainings, causes of poor quality and the causes of the shortages and wastage of  the maize grain stocks. In view of this, your Committee recommends that the FRA should store maize in good conditions. In addition, the FRA should carry out regular inspections of the storage facilities and ensure continuous sampling of the stored maize grain so as to maintain the grain quality. It should also ensure that the moisture metres are available at all buying sites so as to maintain inspection reports at all sheds for future reference. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee undertook a benchmarking tour to Malawi and learnt that the Government of the Republic of Malawi has been promoting quality control in the packaging, transportation and storage of maize grain, both at household and national levels. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to emulate its counterparts in Malawi in promoting quality control practices in the management of the maize grain. 

In conclusion, allow me to thank the members of your Committee for affording me this opportunity to second this Motion. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this privilege to contribute to your Committee’s Report on Agriculture and Lands which is important to every Zambian. 

Mr Speaker, maize is the staple food for Zambia. This, indeed, is the reason it is a pleasure for every farmer to grow maize regardless of any other crops that may be grown. Due to the good Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) policies, such as the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), tax exemptions and many others, we have seen an increase in the yields per hectare of the maize grown. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, my heart bleeds to see organisations that are mandated to handle grain do it in the manner they do. 

According to page 6 (3) of this report, in order to assess the causes of poor grain quality, assessments were carried out on the efficiency of mitigation, residue spraying and mixing of maize grain in line  with the business operations of the FRA. According to the business operations of the FRA, fumigation should be done on a three-month basis or when need arose. The audit found that the FRA workers had no sufficient technical knowledge of both the fumigant and pest, thereby making it difficult for effective monitoring of fumigation and posing the risk of grain wastage. 

Mr Speaker, indeed, this report has done a lot of justice in bringing out the situation as it prevails. However, I will be failing in my duty if I do not bring out other issues that concern maize storage which are quite practical.  

Mr Speaker, the problem, here, is the process of selection of the fumigators by organisations like the FRA. I believe that, if they could do a better job, the losses that are there in terms of maize storage would reduce. The whole process of selecting fumigators at the FRA is marred by malpractices and corruption. You would want to know that most of the fumigators engaged at the FRA are not experienced. We would love to see a situation in which the agency worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, through Mount Makulu, which is mandated to ensure that correct and experienced fumigators are selected. However, this has not been the case. The agency has always worked in isolation. It has never worked with Mount Makulu. 

Mr Speaker, you would want to know that most of the fumigators do not even have the equipment to use when fumigating. They do not have the recommended tarpaulins for fumigation of maize storage facilities. This has contributed to the high infestation of the maize, hence the grain going to waste. 

Mr Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, the post-harvest preparation is really cardinal in grain storage. The practice, at the moment, by the FRA is that the tarpaulins are not procured in time. When the rains start, that is when the FRA runs around to buy tarpaulins. This results in most of the maize going to waste, as was the case in Petauke. This has had a negative impact on our economy as we have had to burn a lot of this grain in the past. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to urge this Government, just as it has contributed to grain marketing, to find a way to help our cotton farmers. The Government must intervene by purchasing cotton, which they may later export, just to help out with the price, which is a problem at the moment in the country. You may want to know that the price of cotton, now, is pegged at about K1,600, unlike K3,200, last year.  

I would like to urge the Government, through the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, to sit down and see what it can do to help the cotton growers. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba (Kapiri-Mposhi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to contribute to this wonderful debate. 

Mr Speaker, I stand here to support your Committee’s Report on Agriculture and Lands. I know that, for it to come up with these proposals and recommendations, it must have done a lot of research. 

Mr Speaker, when it comes to issues concerning agriculture, I get interested because I am a farmer and I do not hide that fact.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: Sir, I have some worries that I will point out in my contribution. I will summarise the report and place emphasis on crop marketing; the Government’s policies; players involved in crop marketing; and the role of the Government, private sector and the FRA in crop marketing. I will summarise these aspects and see which way we can go.

Mr Speaker, I will begin by classifying the four sectors. In the first place, it is the Government which is supposed to foster policy formulation and to provide public infrastructure, such as roads and strategic reserves, among other things. The Government must formulate a policy specifically on agriculture because its purpose is to do so. This policy should see to it that infrastructure such as roads and strategic reserves are put in place.

Sir, the private sector is supposed to be the driver of the agriculture marketing operations. Unfortunately, this sector is based in urban areas and, in most cases, only goes to the production area for marketing. There is a section of the private sector that only gets involved when the farmer harvests his crop. At this point, it gets closer to steal the crop from him or her by giving him or her a low price for the product. The private sector just dictates the price of the crop, for example, K20,000 or K25,000. As a result, the farmer is robbed by the private sector.

Sir, I want this sector to be properly defined so that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock should understand that there is a section of the private sector which has conmen.


Mr Zimba: This is the sector that has deprived the farmer.

Hon. MMD Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: The third player is that of the co-operative movement. These co-operative movement, though private in nature, possesses different attributes in comparison to the others. Since they are within the production areas, they have a full understanding of the challenges being faced by both the producers and market providers.

Mr Speaker, I am not hiding, again, that …

Mr Speaker: I would be disappointed if you did.


Mr Zimba: Thank you, Sir.


Mr Zimba: We have the co-operative movement, which is very important because it is closer to the people every day. At the time of planting and harvesting, this sector is always close to the people. The strategic positioning of the co-operatives in this country gives them a comparative advantage over other sections of the private sector. Unfortunately, they have been let down because they are not supported, yet this is a sector that the farmers can take advantage of and help them to move things well, since it is closer to the people.

Mr Speaker, allow me, now, to talk about the fourth sector, the FRA, which has almost confused the whole situation in agriculture. The FRA, which, in essence, is part of the Government, as a player, should not take a leading role in crop marketing. When it plays a leading role, it makes the private sector withdraw its participation in agriculture marketing activities.

Let me make my statements clear.


Mr Muntanga: Yes!


Mr Zimba: This FRA …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.{mospagebreak}

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that the FRA must completely withdraw from crop marketing to allow the private sector’s participation, hence the need for the revision of the Food Reserve Agency Act, No. 20 of 2005.

Sir, in this case, I support your Committee’s observation that the FRA involving itself in crop marketing brings a lot of confusion in the whole country. Therefore, it must completely withdraw to allow the private sector to move in. For, example, the FRA collects K10,000 per bag as handling fee. Due to its greed, it only gives the co-operative movements or the private sector K1,600 per bag and retains K8,400. This renders the private sector unsupported while the FRA is heavily supported. It is for this reason that the FRA should withdraw from marketing and allow us to move.

Sir, as I mentioned earlier, and considering what the Committee said, we need to revise the Food Reserve Agency Act, No. 20 of 2000. As it stands, it allows the FRA to get involved in crop marketing, thereby depriving the private sector the great opportunity to run the crop marketing activities.

Allow me, Mr Speaker, again, to talk about storage, which other hon. Members have already talked about. Storage is another problem we have in this country. Last year, we harvested over 3 million  metric tonnes of maize. Now, the storage facilities in this country can only accommodate 2 million metric tonnes of maize. While the Government is encouraging people to work hard and grow more food, there is nowhere to store it when this is done. As a result, it goes to waste.

Sir, it is for this reason that I am urging this Government to move quickly and help in building more storage facilities as recommended by your Committee. If this point is missed, then, we shall miss the whole thing. You may recall that, in my maiden speech, I said, “If you do not build silos, then you will remember me.”


Mr Zimba: So, it is better you move quickly …


Mr Zimba: … and build silos so that you do not remember me.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, let, me, now talk about something that happens at the FRA. I do not know what goes on in this country. I have observed that the Committee has not touched on the part of having sub-standard packaging material. When the FRA buys maize from the farmers, it packs it in sub-standard bags which can get torn at any time, hence, duplicating the work every time. So, why can it not get quality bags so that, when it gives them to the farmers, it works out well? So, in this case, I am urging the Government to quickly look at this. By the time the FRA distributes bags to the peasant farmers, it must be known that they ought to be quality bags, not the ones that we see around. I do not know whether these bags are bought cheaply or what happens in between. However, I am urging the Government to move quickly and have quality grain bags bought. 

Mr Speaker, the other issue I would like to support your Committee on is its observation on having unqualified staff at the FRA. The staff is not qualified to handle the stocks that we have and need a seminar to qualify it to handle stock. At the moment, its performance is below par. Most of the maize gets destroyed because of the inexperienced staff that handles it at the agency. This must be looked at very seriously so that we move on the right path.

Sir, the other thing that the Committee did not touch is the FISP. I want to put some ingredients in my debate so that you are able to understand things better. This programme must be completely re-aligned because it is in a mess and is not doing well. This is because, if we asked who the beneficiaries of this FISP are, you would discover that it is the commercial farmers, emerging farmers as well as the civil servants.

Sir, if somebody is cooking food, do you think he would give himself a small share? No, he will give himself a big share and this is what is happening. So, this FISP must be re-aligned so that it benefits the vulnerable person for it to succeed and, hence, reduce poverty.

Mr Speaker, further, under this programme, there is a need for a selective subsidy targeting the most vulnerable if we are to reduce poverty. We need to graduate. What has confused me about this programme is that, when it was initially started, we were saying that people must graduate after three years …

Mr Mweetwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to raise what I consider a very serious point of order. I am compelled to raise this point of order, notwithstanding the fact that, on similar terms, points of orders have been raised.

Sir, there is a growing tendency that, when we are debating important issues, such as this very important report on issues that do not only border on agriculture, but also on national security …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

I have to guide the House that as a matter of fact, when we raise our points of order, let us come straight to the point of order because the preliminaries that we make, sometimes, take a lot of time. So, with that view in mind, can you make your point of order.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, thank you for that guidance. My point of order is on this premise. Are the Executive and the Ruling Party in order that, while they are aware that we are debating this very important report, on resumption of business, their seats, by and large, are vacant while the Opposition have come to take their seats, meaning that we are almost debating with ourselves, yet they are the people we are addressing these concerns to. Are they in order?

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

I think that the Hon. Mr Speaker has guided on this matter before. It is important that we should all be in the House when we are discussing these important matters, but that notwithstanding, we have formed a quorum. So, we have to proceed.

 Can the hon. Member for Kapiri-Mposhi proceed.

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I was saying that, when FISP started, initially, we were saying people would be graduating. Now, it has been grilled in the sense that people have to get this fertiliser nearly every year, making it difficult for others who are vulnerable to benefit. I am, therefore, proposing that this programme be looked into thoroughly so that the vulnerable people are the ones who should benefit. 

Mr Speaker, I could go on and on. However, let me end by stating that this a good report. Further, I would like to urge the Government of the day to pay keen attention when such reports are being reported or coming into force so that it knows, exactly, what is happening and receives such a report with both hands. This way, implementation can go on. 

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I beg to move.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Before we can continue, just by way of guidance, we have a lot on our Order Paper and so while we have twenty minutes as the maximum time within which to debate, we can still be brief. I am sure that most of you are capable of making your points in less than the time allotted. 

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I will be precise ... 


Mrs Masebo: The United Party for National Development (UPND) ...

Mr Deputy Speaker: Ignore them.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I rise to support your Committee and I want to say that it has done justice to this subject on crop marketing in Zambia and other related issues. I also want to state that I support all the concerns your Committee has raised and all the recommendations, except for one, and that is my starting point.

Sir, the Committee’s recommendation 9.0 (f) reads:

“In order to prevent confusion, a separate buying organisation, away from the FRA, should be put in place. In short, another institution. This will require the FRA Act to be repealed so as to allow it to purchase maize at competitive bidding from the market for strategic reasons.”

Mr Speaker, I think this is where we normally lose it as a country. When we have inadequacies or problems in a particular organisation or subject matter, we always run to creating another institution.

Sir, I think we need to look at why the FRA is failing and which issues it has properly articulated. In many cases, even when we say this is what the FRA will do, we, as a people and Government, normally, move away from what we have said we would do for ourselves.

Mr Speaker, I think the problem we have, mainly, has to do with policy − policy formulation and consistency of the policies that we put in place. In some cases, even when we come up with a law, sometimes, we even break it. This is what we saw in the previous administration in the management of crop marketing in Zambia.

Therefore, Sir, my appeal to the current administration is for it to come up with a very clear policy and tell us what the PF marketing policy will be. Let us have rules and regulations that we are going to follow to the letter.

Mr Speaker, of course, sometimes, you can come up with policies and regulations which do not work. Let us move on with the FRA and, when you do the monitoring and evaluation, see what weaknesses are there and try to remove them. The solution should not be to create another FRA because it will face a similar problem.

The other point I want to talk about is the issue of budgeting when it comes to crop marketing. As a country, we usually forecast that Zambia is going to produce so many thousand tonnes of maize. When we come here, to Parliament, we allocate, for instance, K400 billion for buying maize. Hon. Members of the Opposition will say that this money is not enough, but the Ruling Party will say what it wants and that the amount is enough. Before the end of the Budget Sitting, the Executive allocates more money to the buying of maize and makes other sectors suffer. This is because money will be removed from the education and health budget lines and, then, there is total confusion. 

Mr Speaker, if you look at the past, you will see that, starting from the Budget of five years ago, we allocate K400 billion for maize buying, but end up spending K800 billion or K1 trillion. In the last Budget, how much did we allocate for maize buying? We budgeted something like K800 billion, but what did we spend? It was about K3 trillion. Now, that is not good for the country and that is why you find that important sectors begin to suffer. 

Further, it is clear that this money we are spending is not even going to the peasant farmers. Some of us, hon. Members of Parliament coming from rural constituencies, know that the money that the Government has been releasing for the purchase of maize is, first of all, going to the FRA officers in the districts because they are the ones who keep the maize. The same maize stored in the FRA sheds is taken out and sold back again to the FRA. The same maize is sold three times. 

Mr Speaker, secondly, we had a situation whereby we were buying maize from Malawi and Mozambique because we were offering a good price and, so, the farmers in the neighbouring countries realised that there was free money in Zambia and there was no order in the way we were spending our money. On the other hand, you find that the people who are selling maize to the FRA are not the peasant farmers who we give fertiliser subsidies to, but commercial farmers. That is what is happening. We are, actually, subsidising rich people. So, the whole programme of giving peasant farmers free inputs is just a fallacy. We think that we are helping the poor when, in fact, we are not. Instead, we have killed our rural economy in the past. We have spent a lot of money on crop marketing in Zambia, but this money has gone down the drain and it has helped nobody.

So, the PF Government, must try and learn from the mistakes of the past and be more focused. We should not to be confused like our colleagues were. On second thought, let me not use the word ‘confused’. I withdraw it, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I will replace the word ‘confused’ with ‘non-focused’.


Mrs Masebo: Yes, I was there and was part of the confusion. I am not refusing.


Mrs Masebo: That is why I left. At least, I was intelligent enough to do that.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I am happy, at least, that you have said that (addressing hon. MMD Members) …

Mr  Deputy Speaker: Order!

Can you address the Chair.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, we need to understand what the problems are. Let us not create a problem on top of another. We do not need to create new problems. Let us just be clear with our policy. His Honour the Vice-President, Dr Scott, was the first hon. Minister of Agriculture in the MMD Government and he recalls, very well, how clear the agricultural policy was in the beginning. However, along the way, we started distorting the policy and ended up confusing everything. So, we have enough experience, as the PF, to do better than our colleagues.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the other point I would like to raise in regard to this report, which I agree with, relates to storage. It should not be the Government’s responsibility alone to come up with storage facilities. Let us assist the peasant farmers in our villages to construct storage facilities.  As we all know, it is not possible for the Government to do everything. So, let us have a situation whereby the Government helps co-operatives and peasant farmers and banks help commercial farmers to put up storage facilities. The Government should also have storage facilities, but let us not depend entirely on the Government for this. Otherwise, we shall continue losing crops.

Mr Speaker, the other issue I would like to talk about is with regard to importation of inputs and exportation of maize. We spend so much money on the importation of inputs, but export maize to South Africa, for example, at a lower price than what we are paying the citizens of Zambia for the same crop. This does not make any economic or political sense. It simply means we are creating employment for the people of Zimbabwe, South Africa or Malawi. That is what we are doing, as a Government.



Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, may I be protected.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Really, if we make comments while seated, we are attracting the person on the Floor to respond. It is not in good faith. Let us conduct ourselves honourably.

The hon. Member for Chongwe can continue.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I should be addressing them through you. Maybe, then, I will be protected. 

So, I am saying that the policies on exports should also be clear. We should not allow ourselves, as a country, to export maize at a lower price to South Africa when we have spent so much to produce that maize. This will mean we are subsidising consumers in other countries. I think it is not a good business or political decision. We are even better off giving that maize to the peasant farmers in the villages. It is better than us taking the maize to other countries because all we are doing is creating employment for others.

My last point has to do with roads. In 2008, I told the MMD Administration that, if it was not going to succeed in working on the roads before 2011, it would be brought down. I recall when the former hon. Minister of Works and Supply, Hon. Mulongoti, was sitting on your right, Mr Speaker. I always raised this issue, but there was arrogance towards this issue. The issue of roads relates to agriculture, tourism and the community. Therefore, we need to get our act right. 

You will remember that, in the past, even just after the United National Independence Party (UNIP) came out of power, we had the council grading and tarring roads, even just here in Kabwata. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock was the Town Clerk for Ndola then. He used to buy bitumen and sell it to other councils. We would go to Ndola to buy bitumen. So, tarring a road was not the job of the Central Government alone. It was part of the job of local authorities. It was not a big activity where you needed to get the President or hon. Minister to go and officiate. 

So, can we get our act right on the issue of roads so that feeder roads, which are going to enable us market our crops, can be passable throughout the year. Road rehabilitation should not be an event. It should not be an issue whereby we come here to Parliament to ask hon. Members of Parliament to identify which roads are supposed to be prioritised. Let us make it one of the activities of local authorities in their daily functions. So, what we must be looking at is capacitating the local authorities by ensuring that there are enough resources for building and maintaining roads throughout the year. It should not be a ceremony. The issue of roads in this country has been a big ceremony. This means we have not got our act right. So, as long as road infrastructure is bad, crop marketing in this country is not going to work. 

Mr Speaker, I forgot one point when I was talking about storage facilities. Sometime back, we were told that resources were put in the Budget for the construction of sheds. I would like the hon. Minister to comment on that. What happened to the money that was released for the construction of sheds? We were told that most of that money was disbursed, but no sheds were constructed because some people got 10 per cent from the monies given to contractors. As such, contractors failed to implement that project. So, I think that there is also a need for accountability. We cannot be doing the same things year in and year out. Last time, this Parliament approved money for the construction of sheds, but we cannot see those sheds. I do not see those sheds myself.

Mr Speaker, finally, I just want to commend hon. Members of your Committee for a job well done. I think they have done justice to this subject matter. Also, it is timely because we have a new Government in place that is correcting the wrongs that were committed in the past. However, let us be consistent with our policies. Let us have less interference because, at the moment, for example, we have a problem with the floor price for cotton. Should we interfere with the setting of the price for a kilogramme of cotton or not? What will be the effect of interference by the Government? Should the Government keep away completely or should it have its own parallel programme of buying cotton from peasant farmers?

   I think that is where the problem starts from because, depending on the decision we take on cotton, for example, it will have an effect on the production and marketing in the next season. Either people will be encouraged or discouraged from growing cotton. Today, I do not even know whether or not we can claim that people are encouraged to grow more maize than before.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, coming from a constituency of high agricultural production, I stand to support the report of your Committee.

Mr Speaker, one of the issues dealt with by your Committee was crop marketing in Zambia.  It had its own reason to concentrate on maize, but I wish it had also tackled other crops, like groundnuts, cassava, millet and the energy plant called jatropha, which we have done literally nothing about.

Mr Speaker, crop marketing in Zambia has failed for the simple reason that we do not have a defined policy on agriculture. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock has stood on the Floor of this House without giving us proper statements on agriculture according to the PF Manifesto. Prices of farm produce in Zambia are pathetic. The buying price of maize has remained at K65,000 per 50kg bag for the past three seasons as if the cost of living is also static, yet the prices of factors of producing maize, such as fuel, have gone up several times. As Hon. Masebo said, we do not know whether or not farmers in this country are encouraged to keep growing maize and cotton.

Mr Speaker, the Government is the buyer of the last resort, but you would find that the FRA is selective in what to buy. For example, cotton is bought by the eight foreign ginnery companies, which I would call international cotton traders because they do not have textiles in their countries of origin. They are just middlemen. I, too, can be an international cotton trader. These are the people who are given incentives in this country by the working Government. 

Mr Speaker, sometime last year, a Motion was moved, on the Floor of this House, to secure maize so that it does not go to waste, but the Government laughed at us. It said we were pushing an already open door, but what do we have now? Maize has gone to waste, yet the Government had ample time to ferry it to storage. As if that were not enough, Mr Speaker, I was in Muchinga Constituency, last weekend, in the Chisomo Area, to be specific, where I found stacks of maize that have gone to waste while, on the other side, the Government was airlifting maize to Chisomo. 

The point I am putting across is that we do not prioritise things in this country. If we can only work on the silos, then the maize will not be going to waste. The silos in Monze, for example, which are not operational at the moment, need rehabilitation. We ask questions on the Floor of this House looking for humble answers, but all that the Executive tells us is: That is a new question or we will do this when the Government has money. We expect the Executive to prioritise things. I remember that, when I was campaigning, I used to tell my constituents that this is not a poor country. It is a rich nation, but the poverty is in the heads of those we empower to lead this nation. I say so because, for example, the money that is used for the rebasing of the currency would have been used to rehabilitate the silos in Monze.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, the money which we spent on the fuel that we gave to Malawi, would have done a lot in agriculture. Also, that money would have empowered some farmers in Muchila by constructing a ginnery, instead of relying on the international cotton merchants, who call themselves ginners, yet we have a Government which says it is working. We have a Government which says all that the other governments have done is nothing, yet, in this country, if I may recall, we had the National Agriculture Marketing Board (Namboard) and Lint Company of Zambia (Lintco), which were exactly the same …

Mr Kapeya: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member, who is on the Floor, in order to debate the Government, instead of the Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Lands? 

Sir, I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker:  Order!

It is very difficult to draw a line. The important thing is that, indeed, we should debate the report. I recall the hon. Member said that the sickness of poverty was in the heads. Now, instead of just making a quick reference, she went on to discuss what goes on in the heads. 


Mr Deputy Speaker: I think, the hon. Member should avoid doing that because we will divert from the issue on the Floor of the House. Can the hon. Member come back to the subject.

You may continue.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, I am very encouraged because, when people rise on points of order, it means they are digesting the message.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, before the point of order was raised, I was talking about the misplacement of priorities in this country. I will still talk about the farmers in Muchila in Namwala Constituency who are suffering. They are labouring, yet we have a Government which has said it will not interfere in the pricing of cotton. Do you know what happens in the cotton market? The international cotton merchants called ginners come and tell our farmers that they use Liverpool prices. Now, they have even changed their terminology. They call themselves New York Futures. Is New York Futures in Muchila? No. We have a Government and cotton boards in Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, let me draw the attention of the House to the Cotton Board of Zambia. It comprises four directors from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, one director from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, one director from the Ministry of Justice, and one director from the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. These are the people who are supposed to formulate policies. What will they discuss in that negotiation meeting with the buyers of cotton when they have failed to formulate policies to protect our farmers? There is a lot that needs to be done about the Cotton Board of Zambia. Its composition must be reviewed. We must include the private sector such as the Cotton Farmers Association which understands what goes on in cotton production. 

The Government is offering to buy the crop at K1,600 per kg. Do you realise that the price of the inputs the farmers used last time was even much higher when the cotton was bought at K3,200 per kg? So, what justification can you give? Why should it be the farmers to incur the loss while the New York Futures are enjoying? The cotton farmer in Muchila pays for the shipment of the cotton to New York and China when we have a working Government which does not come up with policies to protect the farmer.

Mr Speaker, I was shocked, when going through the report, to learn that some of the wastage is caused by a lack of equipment, such as platform scales, yet I see tenders for platform scales by the FRA in the press every year. Where do the platform scales go if we are going to incur loss because of the lack of platform scales? What I know is that, in grain handling, the wastage percentage is between 0 and 10. However, in Zambia, it is at 35 per cent. We have a working Government, which has come to correct things, yet it allowed maize to go to waste.

Mr Speaker, as regards maize storage, you find old sheds that were left a long time ago by Lintco and Namboard, which have now been turned into community schools. Sometimes, you will even find that maize is just placed on the ground, a practice that causes it to accumulate moisture which, from what I know, is a good responsive condition for the maize to germinate, caba cimena, in Tonga, which is what we use for brewing gankata, our traditional beer.

Mr Speaker, as I went through this report, I learnt about what Malawi is doing, with regard to crop buying. It is using the coupon system, which we once had in Zambia during the time of Lintco and Namboard. In this system, farmers would to go to Lintco and Namboard and be given farm inputs. Once they harvested, they would take their farm produce to Namboard and Lintco and would get their money. However, in Zambia, at the moment, the poor farmers have to wait for the FRA to pay. In the meantime, they cannot take their children to school. They have to wait for the Cotton Board of Zambia and the New York Futures to finish negotiations to be given their money. All this borders on poor agricultural policies. May this Government kindly define the agricultural policy so as to curb the scourge in the sector. 

Mr Speaker, with these few soothing remarks, I end here.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this report. May I state that, though I support your report, I have a few concerns to raise. 

Mr Speaker, the crop marketing system in Zambia is very pathetic. A few months ago, I stood on the Floor of the House and indicated what was going on regarding crop marketing in Zambia, particularly maize marketing.

Mr Speaker, I feel that this Government has increased the dosage of poverty amongst small-scale farmers.

Mrs Masebo: So soon?

Mr Sing’ombe: Allow me to narrow this statement to Dundumwezi, where crop marketing, like in the whole country, is very bad. It does not favour the small-scale farmers. Generally, if I am to start from the distribution of inputs, it seems to me as though we appoint hon. Ministers of Agriculture from some countries far away from Zambia, where the seasons are different from ours because, first of all, they do not understand the seasons that we have in this country. It hurts when you see the Government flagging off the distribution of inputs around September just for farmers, wait until January. 

Mr Speaker, we have, generally, three types of seed in Zambia: the late, medium and early maturing seeds. When the small-scale farmers register, they specify what type of seed they want. There is no farmer who would want to plant his maize around January. What happens, in most cases, is that farmers will receive the late maturing seed in January when there is no window to exchange it seed for an early maturing one. This is why I am saying that we have increased the dosage of poverty amongst our small-scale farmers.

   Mr Speaker, sometimes, I also get shocked that, even after you send this seed to a farmer very late, what we see, thereafter, is that the farmer is given Urea before he is given D-Compound. By the time the farmer receives the D-Compound, the crop is yellow and it cannot be redeemed. 

Mr Speaker, I am also saying that crop marketing in the country is pathetic because of the long distances that our small-scale farmers have to cover to reach the satellite depots. Also, when you give four bags of fertiliser to a farmer, I do not think that you can expect that farmer to produce more than 1,000 bags. It can only be a very minimal number of bags, yet the distances to the satellite depots are unbearable. We want to have satellite depots closer. We do not practise mechanised farming. We use our animals and ploughs. What we want is for a farmer to just yoke his animals and transport his twenty bags to the nearest depot. We do not need a situation in which the satellite depot is 50km away because, then, a poor farmer would have to sell ten of his twenty bags to enable him hire a tractor to transport the remaining ten bags. 

Mr Speaker, there is another interesting thing that I noticed last year. It is very interesting and I spoke about it on the Floor of this House, somewhere in that corner. The Government introduced the use of scales that are used in Hospitals for under-five children to weigh our maize.


   Mr Sing’ombe: I hope that this will not continue. I am afraid that, even this year, our farmers will continue to use the same scales because I still have not seen any platform scale in my constituency. So, what are we going to use? It is no wonder we have many malnourished children; you have removed the scales from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock …


   Mr Sing’ombe: … and it is very difficult for the Ministry of Health to monitor the growth of babies.


Mr Singombe: I hope this is not going to continue.

Mr Speaker, when the Government announces the floor price of maize, which is K65,000 per 50kg bag, the depot clerks employed by the FRA tell farmers that, because of high moisture content, they should add two more kgs. This means that a farmer loses K1.3 million for every 1,000 50kg bags of maize. If a farmer is selling 100 50kg bags to the FRA, it means he is actually selling more bags than this because the depot clerks are weighing the bags at 52kg or 53kg, instead of 50kg. The question is: Where do the extra kilogrammes go? You cannot have high moisture content in maize throughout the year, including after September.

Mr Speaker, as I speak, more than 500 farmers in Dundumwezi have not been paid for their 2010 and 2011 crop. As my colleague from Namwala stated, a number of children in Dundumwezi are not going to school because they are sent back each time they go there because their parents have failed to pay school fees. You are the same Government that is telling girls not to marry at sixteen years. What do you want them to do if they cannot go to school? Someone said that this is the only entertainment they have. Please, help us. This Government must find a formula to pay our farmers who are suffering in Dundumwezi. This Government managed to source more than K10 billion to help Malawi during that country’s State funeral when our own children are suffering and dying.

Mr Speaker, I have discovered that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is investigating these depot clerks. I am happy that some people have even been arrested. However, that is just a fraction of the number. What I find surprising is that the same depot clerks who are being investigated are still working. How do you investigate a person whom you suspect of stealing when he is still working at the same place? The same depot clerks I talked about are now buying 50kg bags of maize at K20,000 from the same farmers that this Government has not paid and are stocking this maize where the maize bought at K65,000 is stored. Is that what you call more money in the pocket? Please, help us.

Mr Speaker, finally, we, farmers, have the capacity, in case you are not aware, to demonstrate just like those who are demonstrating in the mining areas of the Copperbelt. If you do not pay our farmers, you will be shocked. We are simply claiming what is ours. Therefore, please, help us by paying our farmers. 

Mr Speaker, with these very few words, I thank you.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor of the House. I will zero-in on the challenges that have been highlighted by the report, and which are faced during the crop marketing seasons. I will marry these with the state of the roads, especially feeder roads, in the rural areas, and Lupososhi constituency, in particular.

Mr Speaker, the FRA needs help. It requires reforms that will help it deliver to the expectations of Zambians. The attitude depot clerks have during the marketing season leaves much to be desired. There are usually long queues and people are made to sleep at these depots for two or four days guarding their crop while waiting to be attended to. This was a daily occurrence, especially, during the run-up to the 2011 election campaigns. Therefore, I appeal to the ministry to look at the FRA to see how best it can serve the electorates in this country.

Mr Speaker, another issue is that there are many satellite depots that were set up for political reasons. Some people were using satellite depots so that they could get votes. Today, we have difficulties in my constituency because the people are asking whether there will be an increase in the number of satellite depots because we have got them used to that kind of situation. I, therefore, appeal to the hon. Minister to give them what they want.

Sir, in one ward of Lupososhi Constituency, in an area called Mwando, a satellite depot is needed because the nearest one is 15km to 20km away. Having selling points at the doorstep is an arrangement that the people are used to and it is up to this Government to take this service to them.

Mr Speaker, the road infrastructure cannot be divorced from the crop marketing and the distribution of farm inputs. In Lupososhi Constituency, there is a road called Katuta/Sobinge/Musele Road, which becomes very bad during the rainy season. Unfortunately, the farm inputs reach Luwingu District very late; at the peak of the rainy season. The northern part of Zambia receives a lot of rainfall. Luwingu District, in particular, due to its proximity to the Equatorial Rain Forest receives a lot of rainfall. I, therefore, appeal to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to provide farming inputs to Luwingu District as early as possible to avoid farmers not receiving them due to bad roads during the rainy season. The few transporters there refuse to take their vehicles to places where the roads are not good. They just leave the inputs somewhere else, where they may be damaged by rain. Eventually, the farmers are expected to pay for these inputs, which would have gone to waste.

Mr Speaker, there are about 6,000 bags of maize from the last harvest that are going to waste in Lupososhi in the satellite depots. That crop has got to be collected because people need the storage space to keep their current crop. I appeal to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to look at Lupososhi and Lubasenshi constituencies because they have about 26,000 bags of maize marooned in these satellite depots.

Mr Speaker, the classification of feeder roads as agricultural roads is an important thing. This is because, I think, most of the people in rural areas are subsistence or peasant farmers. They get their money once a year after getting paid by the FRA for their produce. That forms an income for the rest of the year until the next marketing season. 

Sir, therefore, we need to ensure that the roads in these areas are not only graded, but are upgraded to the level of tarmac so that we can enhance the quality of lives of the Zambian people who reside in the rural areas. We will also give them an opportunity to send their children to school, like the hon. Member for Dundumwezi put it. 

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I support the Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Chenda): Mr Speaker, let me begin by thanking you and your Committee for this excellent report. I also wish to thank all those who debated the Motion. The passion with which they have delivered their contributions clearly demonstrates the seriousness and importance of the issues that have been raised.

Sir, it is not my intention to prolong this debate because what needed to be said has been said. What is left for me to do is to assure this House that we will seriously pay attention to the issues that are contained in this report, together with those that have been contributed on the Floor. To put it simply, your wish is our command. However, allow me to quickly comment on one or two issues. 

The first issue is one regarding the price of maize. I wish to draw the attention of the House to Page 8, Part IV, Paragraph (f) of this report, which says:

“The FRA maize floor price announced by the Government does not take into account the cost of production by small-scale farmers. This makes the price of the 50kg bag, in Zambia, more lucrative than what is obtaining in the region and, therefore, encourages commercial farmers, both from Zambia and other countries, to sell maize to the FRA. Effectively, the Government is subsidising the price of maize for the sellers in the region.” 

Mr Speaker, I want to go further and state that it is important for this House to know that the Government is not only subsidising the price of maize for the sellers in the region, but also for the exporters because the parity price of the exported maize is well below the price that the Government pays for this maize. Clearly, we are also subsidising the consumption of exported maize.

Sir, it is for this reason that I wonder how my dear sister, the hon. Member for Namwala, Ms Lubezhi, could advocate for further increases when this report clearly states that the price of maize, in Zambia, is uncompetitive. Perhaps, she needs to read this report again so that she can understand the situation better.

Mr Speaker, as regards the problems of marketing for the crops, I agree that there are serious problems in that area. In this regard, we shall soon operationalise the Credit Act of 2009, which will help sort out these problems as contained in this report.

Sir, I also wish to inform this House that it should take comfort in the fact that the layman’s draft bill on the Agricultural Marketing Act has been finalised and will soon be submitted to the Ministry of Justice for consideration.

Mr Speaker, this is a comprehensive agriculture marketing legal framework, which will regulate the marketing of all agricultural commodities, livestock and fishery products as well as provide for a level playing field for all market players and contribute to an efficient and effective agriculture, livestock and fisheries marketing system.

Sir, I must pay tribute to my predecessors who, actually, did a lot of work  regarding the draft Bill.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, it is not my wish to comment on each and every contribution that was made. Suffice to say, I thank contributors and will seriously take their contributions into consideration as we look at this report.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, so much has already been said. I wish to pay tribute to all the contributors, particularly the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, for promising to address the concerns as expressed in the report. We are looking forward to seeing the Agricultural Marketing Act put in place.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to{mospagebreak}


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs for the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 21st June, 2012.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, your Committee was guided by the terms of reference as set out in the National Assembly Standing Orders. Going by the terms of reference, your Committee considered three topical issues, namely, the current refugee status in Zambia, the current status of Zambia’s international boundaries and Zambia’s participation in United Nations Peace-Keeping Operations and the Action-taken-report on the previous Committee’s report. Your Committee also undertook a foreign tour to Rwanda on the first topic dealing with refugee matters. Your Committee’s report is, therefore, in four parts. The first part deals with topical issues and the second part is on the tour undertaken by your Committee. The third part is on the Action-Taken Report on your previous Committee’s report while the fourth part is the conclusion.

Sir, it is my belief that the hon. Members of this august House have read through the report and, as such, I wish to only highlight the salient issues that caught the attention of your Committee in its deliberations. 

Mr Speaker, let me begin by giving a brief analysis of the observations and recommendations as contained in your Committee’s report. Concerned with the welfare of refugees in Zambia, your Committee studied the current status of refugees in Zambia. From the study, your Committee appreciates the huge sacrifices the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the Zambian people have made from hosting refugees since independence, in 1964. Your Committee also appreciates some of the benefits that have accrued to Zambia in hosting refugees and the repatriation exercises of refugees conducted by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in conjunction with the Government of the Republic of Zambia and other stakeholders. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee, however, observes that, while Zambia has been hosting refugees for a long time, she carries a very heavy burden as a host to such large numbers of refugees and, indeed, asylum seekers. Further, your Committee observes that the cessation clause for the refugees in Zambia will be revoked in the case of Angolan and Rwandese Refugees on 30th June, 2012, and 30th June, 2013, respectively. While your Committee notices, with happiness, that most Angolan refugees have been willing to return to their country, the Rwandese refugees are not willing at all and are not prepared to go back to their country, even though Rwanda has been declared a very safe, secure and stable country by the international community, including the UNHCR.

Sir, your Committee also observes that the ministerial meeting convened by the UNHCR in Geneva from 7th to 8th December, 2011, in commemoration of the 6th Anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees, the Zambian Government made a pledge to locally integrate some 10,000 Angolan refugees into the Zambian communities. Your Committee further observes that the United Nations Charter on Refuges does not provide for the recognition of land as a form of equity from the countries that host refugees as compared to the countries that make monetary contribution. Zambia’s contribution is in form of provisions of land. 

Sir, in addition, your Committee observes that the Zambian Government has been receiving inadequate support from the donor community in offering humanitarian assistance to the refugees hosted in Zambia. Furthermore, your Committee observes that integration of refugees in the Zambian society has been advocated for and that the local integration of some former refugees from Mozambique and Zimbabwe has taken place without following the established Zambian legal processes in the country. Indeed, there has not been any assistance from the donor community. 

From the foregoing, your Committee does the following:

(a)    strongly urges the Government of the Republic of Zambia to review the pledge made at the December, 2011, Ministerial Meeting in Geneva of locally integrating about 10,000 Angolan Refugees;

(b)    urges the Government to ensure that any refugee who wants to be a citizen of Zambia, especially after the cessation clause has been revoked, should strictly comply with the already established legal framework, such as the provisions of the Constitution of Zambia, Cap. 1 of the laws of Zambia and many other legislation, that relate to citizenship, immigration and deportation so as not to compromise the security of the country;

(c)    implores the Government of Zambia to ensure that, should the local integration of Angolan and other refugees take place, the donor community should come on board and support the process of liberal local integration in order for it to work as it will have enormous financial, social and economic implications and other pressures on the Government of Zambia;

(d)    calls upon the Government to ensure that infrastructure developed through the UNHCR funds, such as roads, are durable for the benefit of the communities that are hosting refugees;

(e)    urges the Government, in conjunction with the UNHCR, to access the environmental damage caused by hosting refugees so as to mitigate it;

(f)    implores the Government of the Republic of Zambia, the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the UNHCR to have regular tripartite meetings that can lead to the sensitisation of the Rwandese refugees on benefits of their returning to Rwanda before the cessation clause comes into effect on 30th June, 2013; and

(g)    urges the Government, in conjunction with the UNHCR, to find ways of ensuring that land is treated as equity in the contribution towards the welfare of refugees. This will enable refugee-hosting countries to benefit more from hosting refugees. 

Mr Speaker, with regard to Zambia’s participation in the United Nations Peace-Keeping Operations, your Committee commends the Government of the Republic of Zambia for taking part in this noble cause of trying to free the world of violent conflicts through the protection of civilians, especially women and children. However, your Committee observes that Zambia has inadequate equipment necessary to meet the requirements of the United Nations Peace-Keeping Operations. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to acquire more equipment and machinery for the defence and security sectors, through budgetary increment to the security sectors. This will make the country participate in more United Nations Peace-Keeping Operations, especially to allow for the country, also, to benefit from peace-keeping operations.

Sir, your Committee notes, from the Action-Taken Report, that the Ministry of Home Affairs has been having consultations with relevant stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, regarding the issue of attaching Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) officers to some critical Zambian missions in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. These officials would collect valuable information that would help Zambian citizens, more so that Zambian women have been involved in illicit drug trade and abuse in foreign countries. Your Committee, therefore, implores the Government to ensure that officials from DEC are attached to some Zambian missions abroad.

Mr Speaker, your Committee undertook a foreign study tour to Rwanda, in line with your Committee’s topic, which is: “Current Status of Refugees in Zambia,” in order to ascertain whether the cessation clause that will come into effect on 30th June, 2013, for the Rwandese refugees will have any adverse impact on them.

Mr Speaker, from the general findings, your Committee is of the view that Rwanda has undertaken rapid fundamental and crucially positive changes since 1994 and enjoys peace and security that is conducive for the return of all refugees. 

Your Committee further notes, with concern, that Zambia has been accused of harbouring some Rwandese suspected to have been perpetrators of the genocide and are wanted in that country so that they can stand trial. 

Sir, your Committee further learnt that indictments for these perpetrators of genocide have already been sent to the Zambian Government. Your Committee, therefore, urges the governments of Rwanda and Zambia and the UNHCR to increase dialogue with the Rwandese refugee communities in Zambia to combat misinformation, intimidation of refugees and establish confidence-building measures so as to ensure the Rwandese refugees return to their country within the scope of the cessation clause that will come into force on 30th June, 2013. This will ensure that all Rwandese acquire Rwandese nationality and end their refugee status whereever they are in the world in line with the policy …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, order!

Can those on my right consult quietly, please. 

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: … of the Rwandan Government. Your Committee further implores the Government of Zambia to investigate allegations that it is harbouring suspected perpetrators of genocide.

Sir, in conclusion, I wish to register my appreciation to you for according us the opportunity to serve on your Committee. Let me also pay tribute to all members of your Committee for their co-operation and dedication to work. I also thank all the Permanent Secretaries and other stakeholders who sacrificed their valuable time to submit to your Committee on the issues that your Committee deliberated upon. In the same vein, let me take this opportunity to extend your Committee’s appreciation to the Rwandan Parliament for the warm and friendly reception accorded to your Committee during the study tour to that country on refugee matters.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also wishes to thank the Rwandan Government for according it an opportunity to interact with the Rwandan Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Defence and Presidential Affairs on Refugee Matters. Finally, members of your Committee wish to express their appreciation to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the invaluable and tireless assistance rendered throughout its deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Does the secorder wish to speak now or later?

Mr N’gonga: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, let me begin by paying tribute to the Chairperson for the manner that he conducted the business of your Committee.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

I have said that if we have to consult, let us do so without disturbing the person speaking. I am now addressing those of my colleagues on my left who are consulting loudly.

Mr N’gonga: In the same vein, let me take this opportunity to thank all members of your Committee for the good working relationship that we enjoyed. We worked as one family.

Mr Speaker, in seconding this important Motion, I will restrict myself to the following issues:

Firstly, I will talk about the status of Zambia’s international boundaries. Sir, your Committee notes that Zambia’s international boundaries were inherited from the colonial powers at the time of independence, on 24th October, 1964. While commending the Governments of Zambia and Malawi for completing the demarcation of their boundary, your Committee observes that five boundaries need attention as regards ratification of agreements, agreeing on definitions and impact assessment on the demarcation of borders and its effects on the people.

Further, your Committee observes that some of Zambia’s international boundaries were surveyed a long time ago. While developments have continued to take place along the boundaries, inter-governmental inspections of the boundaries have not been taking place. Your Committee also observes that there has been no exchange of views with some neighbouring countries regarding treaties and their interpretations on international boundaries. Therefore, your Committee:

(a)    urges the Governments of Zambia and Tanzania to ratify the agreement on the Zambia/Tanzania boundary and also locate all the boundary beacons by a joint survey from the two countries;

(b)    urges the Governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe to discuss the Zambia/Zimbabwe international boundary, especially where the definition of the “medium filum” along the Zambezi River applies with respect to the signed borders maps;

(c)    implores the Governments of Zambia and Botswana to have a formal treaty that defines their international boundary;

(d)    urges the Government of Zambia and Malawi to undertake an impact assessment on the border line in order to ascertain the repercussion of the determined watershed line on Government infrastructure, human settlements and the country as a whole;

(e)    urges the Governments of Zambia and the DRC to agree on the demarcation for their boundary with boundary beacons between Lake Mweru and Lake Tanganyika, especially regarding Chibangu Village; and

(f)    urges the Zambian Government to engage the donor community for financial assistance in the demarcation of the country’s international boundaries.

Mr Speaker, secondly, the Chairperson has already stated the objective of the tour to Rwanda. While there, in order to appreciate the effects of the genocide, which led to the Rwandese to flee their country to Zambia as refugees, your Committee was also privileged to tour the Kigali and Nyamata which is known as Bugesera Memorial centres. The memorial centres evoke a sense of responsibility that not only hon. Members of Parliament should carry, but also the entire nation, in maintaining unity and peace in our country.

Mr Speaker, I further appeal to my fellow citizens not to take the peace we are enjoying for granted because, if it eludes us, it will be difficult to restore. Furthermore, your Committee notes that the fear of insecurity in Rwanda being spread by suspected perpetrators of genocide in refugee camps in Zambia do not exist as Rwanda now enjoys peace and security. In addition, the fear of being tried in Gachacha courts no longer holds as this came to an end on 18th June, 2012. Your Committee, therefore, appeals to the Rwandese refugees to take advantage of the Come and See and Tell Project to visit Rwanda and verify for themselves what is obtaining in that country. 

Mr Speaker, from the Action-Taken Report, your Committee learnt that the Ministry of Home Affairs, through DEC, would engage India in an effort to revive collaboration and ensure that the 1993 mutual agreement to enhance co-ordination in combating illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and money laundering between Zambia and India was fully implemented. While noting the response and importance of information sharing on drug trafficking, your Committee wishes to be updated on the revival of the 1993 mutual agreement between India and Zambia. 

With regard to the delivery of boats equipped with VHF radios to Kalabo District, your Committee learnt from the Action-Taken Report that the two boats that were purchased for Kalabo were re-allocated to Mpulungu and Nchelenge, following emergency operations in the respective areas and, thus, had not been delivered from police headquarters to Kalabo District. 

Sir, your Committee notes, with sadness, that the boats bought for Kalabo District had been diverted to other areas and wishes to know when similar boats will be bought and delivered to Kalabo District. 

In conclusion, let me join the Chairperson in thanking all the Permanent Secretaries and other stakeholders who sacrificed their valuable time to submit to your Committee on issues that your Committee deliberated upon. Sir, let me also take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to the Rwandan Parliament for the warm and friendly reception accorded your Committee during the study tour to that country on refugee matters. I also wish to thank the Rwandan Government for according your Committee an opportunity to interact with various Rwandan Government officials. 

Finally, I wish to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the assistance rendered to your Committee. 

Mr Speaker, I beg to move. 

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to make a contribution to the debate on the Motion on the Floor of the House. 

Mr Speaker, I will restrict myself to only the part of the report that has to do with international boundaries. However, I will not venture into all the boundaries, but only look at those that affect my constituency. 

Mr Speaker, 50 per cent of my constituency borders Mozambique while 40 per cent ...


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members on my left, the Chair wants to listen. When you consult loudly, it disturbs my concentration. You can consult, but do so quietly without disturbing the others. 

The hon. Member for Vumbwi may proceed. 

Dr Kazonga: I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker, 50 per cent of my constituency borders Mozambique while 40 per cent borders Malawi. The two international boundaries are of interest to us, the people of Vubwi, and your Committee’s report has identified critical issues that need to be addressed by the Government. 

Sir, the issues that your Committee has raised concerning these two boundaries are real. I would like to start with the Zambia/Malawi Border. The border stretches to Chipata, Lundazi, Chama and beyond, but I will restrict myself to the part that falls within my constituency. 

Mr Speaker, as your Committee identified, the aerial images captured in the pilot phase were confirmed in the final stage of the demarcation of the two borders. As this was being done, some villages, farms and gardens were affected. For instance, a person would end up having a garden divided in two, with one part in Malawi and another in Zambia. The unfortunate ones totally lost their land. 

Mr Speaker, as you may be aware, in our environment, we depend on parents and grandparents. The problem is that there have been losses in some of the farms, gardens and public infrastructure. Your Committee’s report indicates that there have been no studies undertaken to look at the impact that this particular exercise has had on the communities. I want to urge the Government, on behalf of the people of Vubwi, to seriously look at possibilities of carrying out studies that will be able to assess the impact of this demarcation. 

Mr Speaker, as indicated in your Committee’s report, the beacons along the Zambia/Mozambique Border, 50 per cent of which is in my constituency, are there, but very difficult to see.  In some cases, we depend on the memory of some elders, who will tell you, for example, that one beacon is on a particular hill or mountain. This creates problems because there is always encroachment on both sides. Therefore, there is the problem of people quarreling over portions of land. It is, therefore, important for the Government to consider reinforcing these beacons. We are better off preventing these differences now than address what might follow later.

Mr Speaker, in as far as international boundaries are concerned, my brief comment is that your Committee has highlighted what concerns us, the people of Vubwi. There is a need for studies to look at the impact of the demarcation with Malawi. On the other side, it is the reinforcement of the beacons. We are told that there are over thirty of them, but it is very difficult to identify, exactly, where they are. In turn, our people are having differences and quarrels because of lack of clarity of where these beacons are supposed to be. Some elders, as I indicated earlier, are able to tell where these beacons are, but for how long are we going to depend on the memory of our elders? 

Mr Speaker, this was my brief contribution to the report of your Committee. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion to adopt your Committee’s Report on National Security and Foreign Affairs. I will be very brief. 

Mr Speaker, I will pick it up from the where the hon. Member for Vubwi left off, concerning international boundaries. I note that, on page 13, where it talks about the Zambia/Angola Boundary, your Committee observes that, except for encroachment reports from the media, there has been no documented problem regarding this boundary. 

Mr Speaker, even if there is no documented report regarding this boundary, there is a need for Zambia and Angola to physically demarcate the boundary and put beacons so that we avoid the confusion on where the boundary is. 

My constituency, Zambezi West, has a long boundary with Angola and, often, there is confusion as to where Zambian villages end and Angolan territory starts. Along that stretch, there is also the cordon line. Some people confuse it with the condom line.


Mr Kakoma: Sir, that cordon line is clear, but it is 10km inside Zambia because it was meant to control animal diseases. However, some people mistake it, including some Angolans, to be the boundary between Zambia and Angola. So, there is a need for the two countries to clearly identify that boundary and put physical beacons.

My second contribution, Mr Speaker, is on the issue of the integration of refugees in Zambia. I will start with the issue of the Rwandan refugees. As the Chairperson of the Committee has indicated, there is a problem over Rwandan refugees because the Rwandan Government considers some of the refugees staying in Zambia to be part of the people who caused the genocide in 1994. These people are wanted in that country to face charges of genocide but, here, in Zambia, they are staying as refugees.

Sir, I am privileged to be one of your hon. Members of Parliament who, not in the very distant past, was a member of the Amani Parliamentary Peace Forum. We undertook a mission, accompanied by some Rwandan refugees from Maheba to see what the situation was like in Rwanda. During that mission, the Rwandan refugees we went with, contrary to their suspicions, were not harassed or picked up by the Rwandan authorities. However, it appears that, when they came back, the same refugees turned the story around and told other refugees that it is not safe to go back to Rwanda.

However, the danger that we face, as country, Mr Speaker, is that Rwanda considers this act of continuing to host these Rwandan refugees in Zambia as an act of hostility. This is because they are considered to be criminals committed genocide crimes. So, I agree with your Committee that the Government needs to sit down with the Rwandan Government and decide what to do with these refugees. It is not our duty to protect criminals in the world. If they are, indeed, criminals, let them go and face the law. If they are just being suspected, they must be able to negotiate with that Government, through the UNHCR, so that they are treated as refugees, not criminals. Therefore, I will not support their continued stay here or, indeed, their integration in Zambia because there are still issues surrounding those Rwandan refugees.

However, Mr Speaker, I have a different opinion on the Angolan refugees. Some of them have been staying, here, in Zambia, for more than forty years. Some of them came to Zambia on their mother’s backs. They were babies. The only country they know is Zambia.

Sir, I was watching a documentary on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) television, the other time, which a man was saying that he has been in Zambia for more than forty years. His business, children and wife are all here. Why do you want him to go to Angola? He does not know Angola. He does not even know his village. Even if you took him to Angola, he will be like a refugee in that country.


Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, many of these so-called Angolans are, actually, integrated into our communities. In my constituency, Zambezi West, that is a true story. Many people come to complain to me as hon. Member of Parliament, that they are being harassed by immigration officials from Zambia. When the Government was carrying out a mobile national registration card (NRC) registration exercise, it created a big problem. Some people could not be given the NRCs on account that their skin did not look like that of Zambians. They call them mulattos. This is despite their having evidence that their mother and father are Zambians. How can they be discriminated against in their own country on account of colour or, indeed,  name?

Some names in Zambia and Angola are common. You find Kakomas in both Zambia and Angola. 

Hon. Members: Eeh!

Mr Kakoma: Yes!

Hon. Members: Niwe foreigner! You are an Angolan!

Mr M. H. Malama: Eco mwaupila?


Mr Kakoma: That should not be a basis for determining the citizenship of a person. In any case, Mr Speaker, there are so many similarities between Zambia and Angola. The same can be said about Zambia and its other neighbouring countries.

We have situations where we have chiefs in Zambia whom we get from other countries. There are chiefs from Tanzania who come to be chiefs here, in Zambia. There are chiefs from Mozambique who come to become chiefs here, in Zambia and indeed, there are chiefs from Angola who can become chiefs here. So, there is so much commonality and social interaction within the region. We have people along the border with relatives in Angola and Zambia. When they decide to go and see their uncle in Angola, they simply cross the border. When they decide to come and see the aunt in Zambia, from Angola, they also just need to cross the border.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: So, Mr Speaker, we flexibly approach issues to do with those people we suspect to be Angolans. We should actually normalise the citizenship of all those we suspect to be Angolans when they are Zambians.

If we, as country, have already set precedence by allowing Mozambican or Zimbabwean refugees to be integrated into Zambian society, according to your report, why should we not do the same for the Angolans? I see so many of these people from Zimbabwe in Mandevu, Mumbwa and Marapodi. I see that they have been integrated into our soceity. So, what is so difficult about integrating our Angolan brothers and sisters into the Zambian society?

Mr Mulenga: Or wives!


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, the other day, one of the hon. Members of Parliament posed a question on the Order Paper about what we are going to do with those people in the Western Province, who came a long time ago and have been integrated into the Zambian society. I think the response from the Government that we got was not very satisfactory. We have, now, an opportunity to regularise the status of these people since we are just 13 million people. The population of Zambia is just like the population of one big town somewhere in the world. We need more people to come and contribute to the development of this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to thank all the hon. Members of your Committee for this very elaborate report. As a Government, we find it very useful and have taken note of the recommendations that have been raised.

Sir, I would also like to thank Hon. Kazunga and Hon. Charles Kakoma for their contributions, which we found very useful.

Mr Speaker, on the question of refugees, we all know that Zambia has hosted many refugees from as far back as the forties and fifties, before some of us were even born. Why have we continued to host refugees? It is simple. As human beings, it is our God-given duty. It is in-born, in us, as members of the human race, to help our fellow human beings who come to us to seek refuge from political upheavals, wars or natural disasters.

Sir, we cannot turn them away when they arrive at our borders, can we? That is what is known as the Principle of Non-Refoulement. In that vein, I wish to pay tribute to the Zambian people in our border areas because these are the first people who actually receive refugees, host them and look after them, long before the UNHCR or co-operating partners and even the Government start looking after them. So, we really must pay tribute to our people.

Mr Speaker, the topical issue is the question of cessation of refugee status. Angolan refugees will cease to be refugees in Zambia this Saturday, 30th June, 2012. What is the implication? If someone is not a refugee, they must regularise their stay in Zambia. There are three things that can happen. First of all, there is the issue of voluntary repatriation. It is our policy in Zambia, as a signatory to these international conventions, that we observe voluntariness in repatriation. We are not going to force anyone to go back. It is purely voluntary.

Mr Speaker, what will happen if someone does not go back? There is what is known as resettlement. This is where we can facilitate movement to a third country for someone who, for some reasons such as, perhaps, lack of prospects of voluntary return in the foreseeable future, is unable to stay in Zambia. During the World Refugee Day, I went to officiate at a function at which the donor countries said they would come to assist Zambia in that respect. 

Mr Speaker, the third issue, which concerns most of us, and which Hon. Kakoma spoke so passionately about, is the question of local integration. This would, normally, apply or be considered for those former refugees who have established strong links with Zambia through family or have simply established social or economic links as a result of many years of staying in Zambia.

Sir, I was having a tete-a-tete with Hon. Chituwo, who said when he was a little boy, his best friends with whom he was herding cattle with were from Zimbabwe, yet they are still applying for permits, year in and year out. So, what we are saying, as a Government, is that, for those who were born of, at least, one Zambian parent, they are entitled to apply for citizenship. Those who were born here can apply for citizenship and we will consider that. Others can apply for permanent resident status, study permits and business permits, which we will consider.

Mr Speaker, Hon. Kakoma talked about commonalities between us and most of our neighbours because most of these refugees are from neighbouring countries. Good neighbourliness requires that we treat them humanely. In fact, I was startled, the last couple of days, when some hon. Members castigated the Zambian Government for assisting Malawi in its hour of need. Who knows when we will be in need, ourselves? You never know. All of us are potential refugees. There may be some natural disaster that might force us to seek refuge. You never know. Let us be nice to our neighbours. It is simply good neighbourliness. It is inborn in us, as Zambians, to be good to our neighbours. So, it is really surprising that someone can be castigating Zambians for donating a little fuel to our colleagues, yet we continue receiving so much from our co-operating partners.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, do not go into details in that area. Can you come back to the report.

Dr Simbyakula: Sir, I am obliged. What I am saying, on refugees, is that the Zambian Government will consider these Angolans who will cease to be refugees if they apply and we shall consider their applications in accordance with our Citizenship Act and the Immigration and Deportation Act.

Sir, on Rwandese refugees, the cessation date is 30th June, 2013, and the same principles will apply. We are grateful for the recommendations by the Committee that we engage all the stakeholders involved, who are the Rwandese Government, the refugees, themselves, and the UNHCR, to see to it that we do not send people back to problems.

Mr Speaker, in any case, as I said, we believe in the principle of voluntary repatriation. So, we are not going to force anyone to go where they feel they might be persecuted or get into serious problems.

Sir, on the question of international boundaries, the issue is that the demarcation of boundaries is a bilateral one, not unilateral. I recall, in 1999, when I was Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and appeared before this Committee, the hon. Members expressed impatience over the demarcation of the border between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Committee questioned whether the failure to demarcate was because of the lack of money or resources and I said, “Well, we have the resources.” “Then, go and demarcate,” the hon. Members said, to which I responded, “We cannot do it unilaterally because, the minute we do that, they too will do it unilaterally and put their border on our side, and that is a recipe for war.” So, it has to be done bilaterally. 

So, as a Government, through the joint permanent commissions, we are discussing with our neighbours on the need to carry out these exercises so that our people can live in peace and harmony.

Mr Speaker, on international peace-keeping forces, Zambia is a member of the international community and it is our duty, as a responsible nation, to participate in the maintenance of world peace and stability. We have to do it because we have no choice. It is our duty, as members of the global village, to participate in maintaining peace and we shall continue doing that. Even in our manifesto, as the PF, we have indicated that we shall continue to participate in the maintenance of peace and security whenever we are called upon to do so. We will try, through our modest means, to acquire the necessary equipment to participate effectively. It is not just a question of sending troops to places that need peace-keeping. It requires effective participation in the maintenance of peace and security.

Mr Speaker, the issue of drug trafficking was raised. Some people have been caught trafficking drugs outside our borders. As a ministry, we are trying very hard to sensitise all our nationals on the dangers of this scourge. It is also incumbent upon us, as representatives of our people, to go out there and sensitise our people on the dangers of drug trafficking and the bad name it brings on Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the issue of boats which were diverted from Kalabo to Mpulungu was also raised. We would like to thank your Committee for bringing this to our attention. If, indeed, that is the case, we intend to address it and see to it that the boats are returned at once. I hope Hon. Miyutu is listening.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the report referred to accommodation for our men and women in uniform, both in the police and the army. As I have indicated, several times, on the Floor of this House, we are trying very hard to raise funds outside the Budget to meet this need. I think that the Ministry of Defence has raised about US$453 million for the construction of some housing units. Some hon. Members may have seen them on the Kabwe/Lusaka Road.  We also want to build houses for our security wings in the Ministry of Home Affairs because it is an urgent need. As I said, police officers are working under very deplorable conditions. So, we must be grateful to them for looking after us despite living in squalid conditions. So, it is incumbent upon us, as a Government, to improve their welfare.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, let me thank, once again, all the hon. Members who have contributed to the debate on this Motion, especially your Committee. The recommendations in the report are, indeed, very useful and we shall take them very seriously as we address these issues.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I thank everybody who has debated and contributed to this Motion.

Thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.




The Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2012

Report adopted.

Third Reading on Friday, 29th June, 2012.




(Debate resumed)

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I support the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor-General for 2009 on the accounts of parastatal bodies for the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. The weaknesses that have been observed by the Auditor-General in some of the statutory bodies that were specifically looked at are a common feature in not only those bodies, which are reported in this document, …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, order!

The hon. Members close to the person debating must not be interfering with her debate. Can you, please, give her an opportunity to debate without interference.

Can you continue.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the problems that have been highlighted in the report, specifically those relating to the accounting systems in most of the parastatals hinge on the failure to prepare financial statements, weaknesses in procurement procedures, poor financial performance resulting in non-declaration of dividends, failure to secure title deeds, misapplication and misappropriation of funds, wasteful expenditure and poor record keeping, which has led to unvouchered expenditure, missing payment vouchers and unretired imprest. 

Mr Speaker, I was saying that these problems are not peculiar to the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and the companies that have been cited in this report. I can safely say that they are common in almost 99.9 per cent of the statutory bodies that we have. That is why, when somebody talks about creating another statutory body, I am always against that. I am always against the creation of new Government agencies all over the show because what has happened, over the past decade, is that successive Governments have created agencies without proper controls. 

   Some of the agencies which have been established do not even have the resources to attain the objectives for which they were created. What has happened, in the long run, is that these parastatals have ended up coming up with all sorts of fees and charges for the poor public, thereby making life in Zambia very expensive, especially for the business communities. That is why business, in Zambia, is very expensive. There are so many agencies, each of which is trying to make money. So, you have to pay for each licence and one must have 110 licences to be a businessman in Zambia today. Sometimes, we create mew bodies because the donors tell us that we are not doing well in some Government departments because of bureaucracy. They also promise to give us money and, because we are not a focused Government, we agree to that suggestion. After we agree with them, over time, the donors pull out and say that we are on our own and should continue running the agency. However, we have no money since our budget is thin. As a result, those bodies begin to create structures or conditions which become very difficult.

The other issue is that most of these institutions, especially the accounts departments, do not have enough qualified staff. There is also the issue of the board. I have read, in this report, that the Zambia Public Procurement Agency (ZPPA) only met twice in a certain year, during the MMD reign, because the board chairperson was very busy. Just think about it. They could not meet because one person was very busy and it meant that services could not be provided because the board never met. This is why, the other day, I was asking the PF Government to be clear with the policy on the boards of these parastatals. It must decide what kind of boards it wants. This business of having one person on several boards, as if we are short of citizens who are intelligent in this country, is not good. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: You will find one person is on the board of this institution. The same man is a board Chairperson of another institution – and normally they are men – and, at the end of the day, he will have four board meetings in a day. Even if you are intelligent, how can you manage? Since the PF policy is about creation of employment, can we review the composition of all these boards that were created. We have many citizens who are knowledgeable on many issues, but have no jobs today. They just walk about on the streets and nobody remembers them. If we pick those people and give them a board, maybe, they will do something for us, instead of having one person on six boards leaving the many Zambians who have vast experience in Government operations languishing in the rural areas. So, I want the PF Government to review this issue and see how best our statutory bodies can begin to perform. I think it is a matter that must be looked at as an item on its own and a decision made.

The other point is on poor financial performance resulting in non-declaration of dividends. When you create an institution, you expect profits to come from that company at the end of the year. Is it not so? Those profits must go to theTreasury, but we have a situation in which we have statutory bodies and, sometimes, parastatals that never declare profits. Hence our Treasury is very thin. In 2003, I heard ZESCO declare K10 billion. How can a very big company declare a K10 billion dividend? They were even shown on television giving that money to the then hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. From that time, I have never heard of any company declaring any dividends because we do not have a policy to guide these statutory bodies. Again, that is an issue that the PF Government must look at. We need a policy that will regulate all the parastatals in Zambia on certain issues, for example, conditions of service and board meetings because some board chairpersons, today, behave like they have executive power. Some people understand what a board chairperson is. However, there are chairpersons who are at the office from morning for the whole month, which creates conflicts between the board chairpersons and their Chief Executive Officers because, now, you do not know who the Chief Executive is, and the one who is supposed to make policies.

In many circumstances, Sir, you find that there is connivance between the board and management. That is why, today, when you look at their salary structures and conditions of service for the boards and management in parastatals, you get surprised. Some executives of parastatals get a higher salary than the President. They even get salaries higher than the Secretary to the Treasury, who is their supervisor, and I just wonder how it is possible. They are failing to declare any dividends or profits because any profit that is made goes to salaries. Over the years, what has happened is that the heads of all the institutions that were created under the MMD started comparing themselves, saying, “I am Chief Executive for a water company and I am only getting K5 million, but the Managing Director for Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) or Managing Director for ZESCO is getting K50 million”. So, that became the comparison and, over the years, all these managements have made their salary structures very big. 

Sir, excessively high salaries are the reason another problem has been created; that of unremitted statutory obligations. They fail to contribute to the Local Authority Superannuation Fund (LASF), the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and the ZRA. Do you know that is against the Constitution? Yet, we have allowed all those irregularities. How can we have a parastatal where the cost for salaries and management’s everyday life is 70 per cent and there is only 30 per cent for operations? If this is the case, then you cannot achieve service delivery. 

Sir, the creation of these so-called statutory bodies, I think, must only be done when a need arises. I hope Hon. Mulusa and Hon. Mucheleka are here to understand because we were against the establishment of an institution at State House. That is really not the answer. Even your Committee proposed the creation of another FRA, but that will not solve the problem. These institutions are expensive and have distorted and made the Government weak. So, the PF Government must not make the same mistakes as those on your left because, unfortunately, at the end of the day, the public does not know about the Board of ZESCO and the manager. They know about Dr Scott, whom they voted for, and …

Hon. Members: And yourself.


Mrs Masebo: They know about President Sata, who promised that he was going to be different from the MMD and they want results from him. They will not understand that it is the board that made a certain decision. That is why I still say that there is a need for the Executive to have some level of control on these statutory bodies. Do not be cheated by these things about the private sector. The private sector …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, order!

The word ‘cheating’ is unparliamentary.

Mrs Masebo: Sir, I am sorry. I withdraw the word. Sometimes, the Queen’s language is very difficult.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

No, do not say anything. Just continue with the debate.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, that is why I would rather the Government of the day begins to have control and power over these statutory bodies it is creating because the statutory instrument to establish ministries by the President says, “Hon. Yamfwa will be the Minister of Energy and be responsible for electricity.” So, when it comes to the problem of power outages that are happening in Chongwe, the people in the area will not care about the Managing Director at ZESCO. They will just blame the PF Government and say that there are more blackouts than during the Mr R. B. Banda’s presidency. That is all they will say. Those people are not elected by anybody, but are your representatives in the implementation of the promises you made. So, make sure that you have some level of control in these parastatals. Otherwise, they will make you fail like they partly made these people on your left fail.

Mr Speaker, the problem of imprest is everywhere. The law is very clear about the issue of imprest and we all know that, when you come back, before some hours expire, you are supposed to retire imprest. The law is also very clear on the fact that if anybody fails to retire imprest within the specified period, there should be recoveries. Now, there is a recommendation in the report to recover imprest in forty-eight months. Why should you recover money in forty-eight months from somebody who is receiving a salary? It must be recovered with immediate effect from his salary because the law is very clear.

Hon. Members: It is 48 hours.

Mrs Masebo: Forty-eight hours? So, if it is forty-eight hours, why are you saying forty-eight months? Why should there be such a recommendation?

Mr Speaker, I now want to advise my colleagues on your right on this story of imprest. Sometimes, you be will be given imprest, as an hon. Minister, but when you come back and do not retire, your Permanent Secretary is supposed to remind you. However, sometimes, your officers will deliberately keep quiet because, as far as they are concerned, you are an hon. Minister and, therefore, you know what the Standing Orders say. After five years in the Government, you will just see a bill that you owe K80 million. It becomes difficult for you. In fact, I think that hon. Ministers should not carry their own imprest. An hon. Minister should have an officer to carry imprest so that the officer is the one to go to the reception and pay.

Hon. Member: Yes!

Mrs Masebo: What are you doing with money, as an hon. Minister, and taking it from your pocket and paying at the reception?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I find that degrading because I do not expect the Vice-President to be at the counter paying for his room. I do not expect that.


Mrs Masebo: So, the imprest must go to an officer, who should make sure that the hon. Ministers are properly looked after and, when they get back, that officer must retire it so that, at the end of your term, you do not end up like what we were hearing here about the other side, that an hon. Minister did not do this and that; that there was no receipt or that you doctored the receipt. It is very embarrassing and cheap. 

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, order!

Mrs Masebo: I know that the PF group will not sink so low as to bury money in the sitting room. Therefore, since they cannot bury money in the sitting room, they cannot doctor or forge some receipts and claim to have paid for the imprest. 

I just thought that I should mention that you should try to avoid such matters and use your officers to carry imprest for you so that they are the ones who will have a problem, not you, as an hon. Minister.

Mr Speaker, I also want to say that this is not a PF report. All these are MMD ills.

Mr Kalaba: Abo, nabaya nokuya.

Mrs Masebo: You have just come and, therefore, by the time it is 2013 and an audit report is brought to the House, we want a document that is cleaner than this one and with fewer problems.
Mr Speaker, when it is said that somebody must be charged, let us be seen to be charging people because, then, they will become more careful. This trend of saying, “Charge them,” and the same officer is promoted must not go on.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Deputy Speaker: We had a number of people debate, yesterday, and, therefore, unless there really is a need for someone to debate, I would rather call on the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Member: Ema Speaker aya!


The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, my task has been made very simple and easy by very intelligent contributions by  all the hon. Members who have spoken on this matter which is of profound concern to the nation.

Mr Speaker, I just want to say that it is expedient and appropriate that we all speak very strongly against resource misdirection. 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Each time any one of us misdirects resources, some person who should not have died is dies. So, we should all take a very serious view of the need to ensure that public resources obtained from the poor and squeezed Zambian taxpayers are used for the purposes they are meant and intended.

Mr Speaker, Sir, I am …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Minister.

It is just Mr Speaker.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Deputy Speaker: That is right.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I will rest my case by simply, again, emphatically and categorically thanking hon. Members for their contributions and strong views. I hope that the people concerned in the Governmental system, the officials, have heard the unanimous view of the hon. Members of this House that they want a very scrupulous use of public resources and that there will be no time when anyone of us will be unambiguously eulogistical of people who misconduct themselves.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, it is not my wish to re-open the debate on this matter because I think that people have debated it adequately. However, I wish to clarify two issues that were raised by Hon. Livune and Hon. Masebo, respectively.

Mr Speaker, the report says that imprest should be retired forty-eight months or days after people return to the station. This was a typographical error in the report and, therefore, we take responsibility and ask for your forgiveness. I wish to put it on record that it is forty-eight hours upon return to the station. We are sorry for confusing you.

Mr Speaker, the other issue I would like to clarify is the one raised by the hon. Member for Lupososhi, who wondered why we are dealing with a report for 2009 in 2012, three years down the line. I wish to say that we have had a backlog. The Auditor-General has had to clear many audits. However, this time, we are current and you will see that, during this sitting, we may produce two more reports for 2010, the same report on parastatal bodies and another one on the main accounts, provinces and ministries for 2010 and, from there onwards, we will be current with the audits and the reports to this House.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank all those who debated and supported this Motion and those who supported in their silence.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Member: Wakula!

Question put and agreed to.


The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1908 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 29th June, 2012.